To Kill a Mockingbird

How does Tom Robinson's death and false accusation help illuminate the meaning of the work as a whole?

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The most important themes in novels are sometimes developed in scenes in which a death or deaths take place. Write a well-organized essay in which you show how a specific death scene (Tom Robinson) in "To Kill a Mockingbird" helps to illuminate the meaning of the work as a whole. Avoid mere plot summary.

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Tom Robinson is one example of a human "mockingbird". He stands accused of raping and beating Mayella Ewell, but is innocent of the charges. The town commits the ultimate sin by finding him guilty and sentencing him to death. In effect, they have killed a mockingbird.