Why do several of Atticus's acquaintances confer with him on the Saturday evening and Sunday morning before Tom Robinson's trial begins in To Kill a Mockingbird?
Any quotes to support your answer would be much appreciated!
The previous post provides an excellent glimpse of one of the matters that might have been discussed on Atticus's front lawn. It is clear that one of Atticus's friends, Link Deas, may have been trying to talk Atticus out of defending Tom. Jem and Scout only caught bits and pieces of the conversation, but they did hear Deas remark
"--don't see why you touched it in the first place... You've got everything to lose from this, Atticus." (Chapter 15)
Sheriff Heck Tate was obviously there to let Atticus know that the authorities would be "movin' him [Tom] to the county jail tomorrow," and Deas was worried that there might be some trouble from "that Old Sarum bunch." Atticus's "voice was even," and he tried to assuage the others' worries, including Sheriff Tate, who admitted that "I was just uneasy." Many of the same men met with Atticus again on Sunday morning, but Scout and Jem heard none of the conversation, and Atticus never reveals what the men said other than that Tom had been moved to the local jail. The "fake peace" continued until Atticus wisely decided to spend the night standing guard outside the jail even though he had predicted no trouble from the "Old Sarum bunch," but he soon found that the Cunningham clan had other plans for Tom.
Back when I studied this book in high school, I vividly remember my teacher telling us, "Atticus's acquaintances were trying to talk him out of representing Tom Robinson." As a white man, the acquaintances felt that Atticus' reputation would be on the line if he represented a black man.
You see, the setting of To Kill a Mocking Bird takes place during the Great Depression when racism and segregation were mainstream. Simply the idea of interracial relationship of any kind were frowned upon, especially in small southern towns. Any quotes hinting at what will happen to Atticus and his family will support the reason I provided.
I'm providing a link that contains a great summary of the story as well as character descriptions.
I would love to provide you with a quote, however my copy "bit the dust" long ago. Any quotes hinting at what will happen to Atticus and his family will support the reason I provided.