In To Kill a Mockingbird, why does the Jem have confidence that Atticus is going to win his case?
I can't figure out why Jem is so confident in his father that he is going to win when it is clear Atticus will not with a white jury.
2 Answers | Add Yours
Jem believes that the evidence presented in the case clearly demonstrates Tom Robinson's innocence. He is correct in this view. It is for this reason, rational as it is, that Jem believes Atticus will win the case. Jem is not sufficiently "realistic", despite his rationality, to predict the verdict.
A more cynical or experienced person could see that Tom Robinson had very little chance at being found innocent of the charges against him due to prevalent racial attitudes in Maycomb.
Having watched Atticus rather thoroughly prove Robinson's innocence, Jem cannot believe that any rational person would find the man guilty.
Although more socially aware than Scout, he is genuinely surprised at Tom Robinson's guilty verdict.
Until this point in his life, Jem has had no reason to doubt the moral quality of the people of Maycomb. Indeed, he cries over the fact that he once believed the people of this town to be the greatest people anywhere. His idealism and his innocence are destroyed when the verdict comes back "guilty".
For Jem and for some readers the verdict is surprising for its apparent articulation of institutional and cultural racial prejudice.
The town is exposed to the reader as being far from innocent, but rather a town riddled with bigotry, hatred and injustice.
Jem does not fully understand the concept of racism, his father has protected him from it since his birth. This is why Atticus is extremely nervous when the court case comes, as he knows Jem is going to be exposed to a lot of complex problems, one being racism. Having said this, Jem knows that the case should be thrown out of the court because unlike the white jury he does not see colour as a factor in the judgement of a human being.
We’ve answered 319,207 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question