What is Atticus referring to when he says, “We’ve made it this way for them, they might as well learn to cope with it”?Atticus tells this to Alexandra. What is he implying about the adults...
What is Atticus referring to when he says, “We’ve made it this way for them, they might as well learn to cope with it”?
Atticus tells this to Alexandra. What is he implying about the adults of Maycomb?
This statement is made by Atticus in Chapter 22 of To Kill a Mockingbird after the Tom Robinson trial has ended. Jem returns home crying, and Aunt Alexandra greets him with "I'm sorry, brother." Alexandra notices how upset Jem is, and she comments that she didn't think the trial was something for children to witness.
"This is their home, sister," said Atticus. "We've made it this way for them, they might as well learn to cope with it."
Atticus is referring to his decision to defend Tom in the first place, knowing that the family would be scrutinized for his defense of a black man against his white accuser. By allowing his children to witness the trial first-hand, it was just another way of giving his children the chance to grow up quickly in the mixed-up world around them.
Aunt Alexandra feels that the children should be sheltered from the trial. The children are naturally magnetized to the trial and want to attend and know the details. The town is buzzing with excitement as people flock to the courthouse and the children cannot ignore it.
Atticus realizes that racist attitudes are a part of everyday life in Maycomb and likely will continue to be a part of Maycomb for years to come. Attempting to hide this from the children is futile. Eventually, the children witness a jury side with an untrustworthy plaintiff accusing a trustworthy defendant. The jury is biased by race and the children plainly see the evils that exist in their society.
Atticus says this to his sister in Chapter 22 when he comes home after having lost the Tom Robinson case.
He says this because Alexandra is commenting on how bad it was for Jem to have to go through the trial. Atticus tells her that the adults have made Maycomb this way. What he is referring to is the racism that is so prevalent in the town. He is saying that the adults have made a racist society.
He is saying that the children are going to inherit this situation and so they had better learn to live with it.