What is Atticus actually condemning is his closing remarks to the jury and what is the target of his final plea?

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kkosach's profile pic

kkosach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

Atticus is condeming society, racism, and the law.  There would not even be a trial if Tom Robinson were white.  There is not any evidence in the trial to convict Tom, but the town and Bob Ewell would convict Mayella of lusting after an African-American male.  Atticus reminds the court that there is one place where "all men are created equal" and that is under the law.  He begs the jury to do their duty, "in the name of God," which evokes their religious sensibilities.  In order to do the right thing, the jury must suspend their individual beliefs to save the life of one innocent man caught in a world that shuns his existence.

zumba96's profile pic

zumba96 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

He is condemning 3 things at once, the society, the law, and the racism within the town. If Tom was white, this trial would be much different. Atticus has provided every single proof that shows that Tom was in fact not guilty and he should be free, but because of the scheming white society and the prejudice they hold, he was wrongfully acquitted. He begs them to do the right thing in the name of God, yet even then his plea is unheard. However, one person voted yes for Tom and this showcases a new start of an era. 

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