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There are a number of memorable quotations in To Kill a Mockingbird that deal with the trial of Tom Robinson. They can be found in the testimony of Tom and the Ewells; in Scout's narrative during the trial; and in Atticus' final summation as he pleads with the jury to overlook Tom's skin color and base its verdict on the facts presented in the case. But my favorite quotes come before the trial, when Atticus discusses the upcoming case with his brother, Jack, in Chapter 9. Jack knows that the case is going to be rough on Atticus, as well as his family.
"It couldn't be worse, Jack. The only thing we've got is a black man's word against the Ewells'... The jury couldn't possibly be expected to take Tom Robinson's word against the Ewells'--..."
Atticus tells his brother that he had been handed the case by Judge John Taylor, who
"... pointed at me and said, 'You're It.' "
It was a case that Atticus had hoped to never receive, and the accusation against Tom--that he, a black man, had raped Mayella Ewell, a white woman--was sure to stir up the emotions of the town. He worried about the repercussions that the case would have regarding his family, and he knew that his decision to represent Tom might bring trouble. But Atticus was going to try his best to "jar the jury a bit."
"... do you think I could face my children otherwise? You know what's going to happen as well as I do, Jack, and I hope and pray I can get Jem and Scout through it without bitterness, and most of all, without catching Maycomb's usual disease. Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don't pretend to understand... I just hope that Jem and Scout come to me for their answers instead of listening to the town. I hope they trust me enough..."
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