To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee

Key Questions and Answers

Summary Key Questions and Answers

12) Why does Atticus take Tom Robinson’s case knowing that he’ll lose?

Atticus accepts the case out of personal integrity and a firm belief that the racist ways of the deep South will slowly but surely change over time. He sees this trial as an opportunity to help make that historic shift of attitude, even if it is just a small step. When he takes the case, Atticus assumes that they will lose the trial, but he believes they have an excellent chance in the appeal process. The people of his community trust him to do the right thing, and he does. After the trial is over, Atticus feels discouraged by the outcome, but he is not beaten by it.