Explain Atticus' statements about the following:
■ "People have a way of carrying their resentments into the jury box."
■ It's all adding up, and one of these days we are going to pay the bill for it."
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"People have a way of carrying their resentments into the jury box." Atticus knew well before the Tom Robinson trial began what the verdict would be. He told his brother, Jack, that no white jury could be expected to take the word of a black man over a white man--even if he was Bob Ewell. The jury could not be expected to vote their conscience, although his appeal in his closing statement requested as much. Simply put, the all-white jury was a lock to bring a guilty verdict in 1935 Alabama against any black man accused of raping a white woman.
"It's all adding up, and one of these days we are going to pay the bill for it." Atticus knew that eventually the tide would turn, and that black men and women would someday gain equal rights. The Deep South was bound to change in the future, and white citizens would have to grudgingly accept the inevitable: Juries would be mixed and people of all colors would be judged by their crimes--not their race.
In the book "To Kill a Mockingbird" Atticus speaks as the voice of reason to his children. His children are puzzled by the behavior of the adults around them. They had never seen the town as the prejudices place it has become. Atticus is explaining that a person on the jury still walks into the trial and decision making process with preset opinions. He is trying to brace them because he knows that the people will allow their prejudices to prevent them from seeing and accepting the truth.
His second statement is Atticus' way of telling the children that all the restrictions and wrong doings that the south had put upon black people would one day come to rise and that the white people would be considered responsible. It would not necessarily be his generation, but he knew that the generations of the unfair treatment of black people would have long term repercussions.
Before the verdict was told Atticus already knew Tom would be proven guilty for a crime he did not commit. Why? It's because of the racist society found within Maycomb and how they would rather look at someone's skin tone instead of the facts.
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