Does Atticus believe he will win the Tom Robinson case?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of Chapter 9, Scout gets offended when Cecil Jacobs says Atticus defends "niggers" on the playground. Later that night, Scout asks her father if it is true that he defends Negroes. Atticus explains to Scout that he will be defending a black man named Tom Robinson. Atticus proceeds to tell Scout that if he chose not to defend Tom Robinson, then he wouldn't be able to hold his head in town or represent Maycomb in the legislature. Scout then asks Atticus if he is going to win the case. Atticus simply tells Scout, "No, honey" (48). When Scout asks him why he is even going to try to defend Tom, Atticus tells her, "Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win" (48). Atticus realizes he has no chance of winning the case because of the prejudiced jury, but he is still going to defend Tom to the best of his ability.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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