What are some quotations (with page numbers) about why Atticus should take the Tom Robinson case in To Kill a Mockingbird?
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1. In chapter nine, Atticus explains to Scout his primary reason for defending Tom Robinson. Atticus tells his daughter,

The main one is, if I didn’t I couldn’t hold up my head in town, I couldn’t represent this county in the legislature, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not...


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1. In chapter nine, Atticus explains to Scout his primary reason for defending Tom Robinson. Atticus tells his daughter,

The main one is, if I didn’t I couldn’t hold up my head in town, I couldn’t represent this county in the legislature, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do something again. (Lee, 78)

Atticus knows that the right thing to do is to defend Tom Robinson despite the enormous backlash and consequences attached to defending a black man in a prejudiced society. However, Atticus is a noble individual with integrity and refuses to dismiss his moral responsibility to protect an innocent, vulnerable man.

2. Even though Atticus realizes that he has no chance of winning the case, he is willing to valiantly defend Tom in front of a racist jury. Atticus demonstrates his character and positive outlook by telling Scout,

Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win. (Lee, 78)

3. In chapter eleven, Atticus attempts to explain to Scout why he feels compelled to take the Tom Robinson case. After Scout tells her father that he must be wrong, Atticus responds by saying,

The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience. (Lee, 107)

Atticus is essentially telling his daughter that he must dismiss everyone"s opinions and follow his conscience. Atticus is a morally upright man, who is determined to follow his heart and do the right thing by defending Tom regardless of his neighbors" opinions.

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4. As a morally upright man, Atticus also believes that everyone should be treated fairly regardless of their skin color. In Atticus"s mind, Tom Robinson has the right to be judged fairly without prejudice. Following the tragic verdict, Atticus reveals his belief that everyone should be treated equally by telling his children,

There’s nothing more sickening to me than a lowgrade white man who’ll take advantage of a Negro’s ignorance. (Lee, 224)