Once word gets out that Atticus is representing Tom Robinson, the whole town starts to act differently. Atticus wants to protect his children from this, but he knows he is unable to do so now. The real attitude of people are starting to come into the light.
The people of the town start saying things to Atticus and the kids. Jem and Scout also hear people whispering about them, as they walk by them. The townspeople think it is horrible for Atticus to take a case like this and try to prove that a black man is innocent. The small town of Maycomb is very much stuck in their view of prejudice.
Scout wants to fight anyone who says anything about her father. She is so young and doesn't understand why the people are acting like this now. Atticus tries to tell her and Jem how to handle themselves.
"You just hold you head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don't you let 'em get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change."
Atticus also tries to teach Jem and Scout that this is just how some of the people are in this town. He wants his children to know that doing the right thing, can sometimes mean people will turn against you, but you just have to keep on fighting for what is right.
"This time we aren't fighting the Yankees, we're fighting our friends. But remember this no matter how bitter things get, they're still our friends and this is still our home."
Atticus is one of the very best characters in literary history. He fought for the rights of people and taught his children to do the same thing. He is the shining example of what more people should be like.