To Kill a Mockingbird By Harper Lee Study Help Famous Quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird

Here are some examples of Harper Lee's most familiar quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird. In these examples, you will see how the author's use of regional language and spot-on character development serve to illustrate the important political and social themes in this Pulitzer Prize-winning work:

"Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square. Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer's day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men's stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o'clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum." Chapter 1

"What I meant was, if Atticus Finch drank until he was drunk he wouldn’t be as hard as some men are at their best. There are just some kind of men who-who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results." Chapter 5

"The sixth grade seemed to please him from the beginning: he went through a brief Egyptian Period that baffled me - he tried to walk flat a great deal, sticking one arm in front of him and one in back of him, putting one foot behind the other. He declared Egyptians walked that way; I said if they did I didn't see how they got anything done, but Jem said they accomplished more than the Americans ever did, they invented toilet paper and perpetual embalming, and asked where would we be today if they hadn't? Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts." Chapter 7

"When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness' sake. But don't make a production of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion quicker than adults, and evasion simply muddles 'em." Chapter 9

"Bad language is a stage all children go through, and it dies with time when they learn they're not attracting attention with it." Chapter 9

"Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don't pretend to understand." Chapter 9

"They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions... but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience." Chapter 11

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do." Chapter 11

"It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived." Chapter 11

"She seemed glad to see me when I appeared in the kitchen, and by watching her I began to think there was some skill involved in being a girl." Chapter 12

"So it took an eight-year-old child to bring 'em to their senses.... That proves something - that a gang of wild animals can be stopped, simply because they're still human. Hmp, maybe we need a police force of children." Chapter 16

""I think I'll be a clown when I get grown," said Dill. "Yes, sir, a clown.... There ain't one thing in this world I can do about folks except laugh, so I'm gonna join the circus and laugh my head off." "You got it backwards, Dill," said Jem. "Clowns are sad, it's folks that laugh at them." "Well, I'm gonna be a new kind of clown. I'm gonna stand in the middle of the ring and laugh at the folks." Chapter 22

"The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box. As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don't you forget it - whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash." Chapter 23

"I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks." Chapter 23

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