Does Atticus really believe people are created equal, or does he just say this as a strategy to influence the jury? Does he tell the jury this for another reason? Explain. 

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

During Atticus' closing remarks, he explains to the jury Mayella's motivation for falsely accusing Tom Robinson of assaulting and raping her and also addresses the significant prejudice against African Americans throughout the community of Maycomb. Atticus concludes his final remarks by commenting on Thomas Jefferson's famous words that "all men are created equal." Atticus mentions that he finds Jefferson's assumption that all men are created equal to be ridiculous. He goes on to say that people vary in different ways from intelligence to opportunity. Atticus then comments that there is one institution where every man is viewed and treated equally. He then mentions that the United States' court system is the only place where all men are considered equal. He goes to say that a court is only as good as its jury and urges each jury member to judge Tom Robinson's case without prejudice.

Atticus mentions that all men are created equal in a court of law to influence the jury's decision. He wants them to treat Tom Robinson equally and not let their prejudiced beliefs get in the way of their judgment.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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