To Kill A Mockingbird – quotes

To Kill A Mockingbird. Harper Lee. (NY: HarperCollins, 1960 [1999 reprint]), 323 pages.

I recently read To Kill A Mockingbird. Without hesitation I can say that it is one of the ten or so best works of fiction I have ever read. There isn’t really any need to review it. It has withstood the test of time and everyone knows it is a GREAT BOOK. So, I thought I would share a few of my favorite quotes and passages from it, instead.

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…but as I inched sluggishly along the treadmill of the Maycomb County school system, I could not help receiving the impression that I was being cheated out of something. Out of what I knew not, yet I did not believe that twelve years of unrelieved boredom was exactly what the state had in mind for me.
~ The character Scout Finch, in To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. (NY: HarperCollins, 1960 [1999 reprint]), page 36.

“You are too young to understand it,” she said, “but sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whiskey bottle in the hand of –oh, of your father.”
~ The character Miss Maudie Atkinson, in To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. (NY: HarperCollins, 1960 [1999 reprint]), page 50.

“Were you playing cards?”
Jem fielded Dill’s fly with his eyes shut: “No sir, just with matches.”
I admired my brother. Matches were dangerous, but cards were fatal.
~ The character Scout Finch, in To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. (NY: HarperCollins, 1960 [1999 reprint]), page 61.

For reasons unfathomable to the most experienced prophets in Maycomb County, autumn turned to winter that year. We had two weeks of the coldest weather since 1885, Atticus said. Mr. Avery said it was written on the Rosetta Stone that when children disobeyed their parents, smoked cigarettes and made war on each other, the seasons would change: Jem and I were burdened with the guilt of contributing to the aberrations of nature, thereby causing unhappiness to our neighbors and discomfort to ourselves.
~ The character Scout Finch, in To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. (NY: HarperCollins, 1960 [1999 reprint]), page 72.

“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions,” said Atticus, “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.”
~ The character Atticus, in To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. (NY: HarperCollins, 1960 [1999 reprint]), page 120.

I wanted you to see something about her–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.
~ The character Atticus, in To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. (NY: HarperCollins, 1960 [1999 reprint]), page 128.

To all parties present and participating in the life of the county, Aunt Alexandra was one of the last of her kind: she had river-boat, boarding-school manners; let any moral come along and she would uphold it; she was born in the objective case; she was an incurable gossip. When Aunt Alexandra went to school, self-doubt could not be found in any textbook, so she knew not its meaning. She was never bored, and given the slightest chance she would exercise her royal prerogative: she would arrange, advise, caution, and warn.
~ The character Scout Finch, in To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. (NY: HarperCollins, 1960 [1999 reprint]), page 147.

Atticus was proceeding amiably, as if he were involved in a title dispute. With his infinite capacity for calming turbulent seas, he could make a rape case as dry as a sermon.
~ The character Scout Finch, in To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. (NY: HarperCollins, 1960 [1999 reprint]), page 194.

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view — until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.
~ the character Atticus

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, of how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.
~ the character Atticus

It’s not okay to hate anybody.
~ the character Atticus

Jem see if you can stand in Bob Ewell’s shoes a minute. I destroyed his last shred of credibility at that trial, if he had any to begin with. The man had to have some kind of comeback, his kind always does. So if spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayella Ewell one extra beating, that’s something I’ll gladly take. He had to take it out on somebody and I’d rather it be me than that household full of children out there.
~ the character Atticus

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And, there was the passage from the book that I shared HERE.

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Some of you may remember that To Kill A Mockingbird was the fifth most frequently mentioned title of the One Book Meme.  

Other books in the top ten are shown below.

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