Atticus Finch Quotes with Page Numbers

Read Atticus Finch Quotes on Racism, empathy, courage with page numbers

“Scout,” said Atticus, “nigger-lover is just one of those terms that don’t mean anything—like snot-nose. It’s hard to explain—ignorant, trashy people use it when they think somebody’s favoring Negroes over and above themselves. It’s slipped into usage with some people like ourselves, when they want a common, ugly term to label somebody.”

“You aren’t really a nigger-lover, then, are you?”

“I certainly am. I do my best to love everybody… I’m hard put, sometimes—baby, it’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.” (11.107-109)

“She was white, and she tempted a Negro. She did something that in our society is unspeakable: she kissed a black man. Not an old Uncle, but a strong young Negro man. No code mattered to her before she broke it, but it came crashing down on her afterwards.” (20.44-45)

“Which, gentlemen, we know is in itself a lie as black as Tom Robinson’s skin, a lie I do not have to point out to you. You know the truth, and the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men are not to be trusted around women—black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men. There is not a person in this courtroom who has never told a lie, who has never done an immoral thing, and there is no man living who has never looked upon a woman without desire.” (20.47-48)

“There’s something in our world that makes men lose their heads—they couldn’t be fair if they tried. In our courts, when it’s a white man’s word against a black man’s, the white man always wins. They’re ugly, but those are the facts of life. […]

“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.” (23.38-40)

[Atticus says] “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.” Atticus was speaking so quietly his last word crashed on our ears. I looked up, and his face was vehement. “There’s nothing more sickening to me than a low-grade white man who’ll take advantage of a Negro’s ignorance. Don’t fool yourselves—it’s all adding up and one of these days we’re going to pay the bill for it. I hope it’s not in you children’s time.” (23.40)

“She has committed no crime, she has merely broken a rigid and time-honored code of our society, a code so severe that whoever breaks it is hounded from our midst as unfit to live with. She is the victim of cruel poverty and ignorance, but I cannot pity her: she is white. She knew full well the enormity of her offense, but because her desires were stronger than the code she was breaking, she persisted in breaking it.” (20.43)

“I’m no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and in the jury system—that is no ideal to me, it is a living, working reality. Gentlemen, a court is no better than each man of you sitting before me on this jury. A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the men who make it up. I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this defendant to his family. In the name of God, do your duty.” (20.51-52)

“First of all,” he said, “if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. 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.” (3.85-87)

Atticus was saying, “With people like us—that’s our share of the bill. We generally get the juries we deserve. Our stout Maycomb citizens aren’t interested, in the first place. In the second place, they’re afraid. [..] Well, what if—say, Mr. Link Deas had to decide the amount of damages to award, say, Miss Maudie, when Miss Rachel ran over her with a car. Link wouldn’t like the thought of losing either lady’s business at his store, would he? So he tells Judge Taylor that he can’t serve on the jury because he doesn’t have anybody to keep store for him while he’s gone. So Judge Taylor excuses him. Sometimes he excuses him wrathfully.” (23.46-49)

“This time we aren’t fighting the Yankees, we’re fighting our friends. But remember this, no matter how bitter things get, they’re still our friends and this is still our home.” (9.27)

“Scout,” said Atticus, “when summer comes you’ll have to keep your head about far worse things… it’s not fair for you and Jem, I know that, but sometimes we have to make the best of things, and the way we conduct ourselves when the chips are down—well, all I can say is, when you and Jem are grown, maybe you’ll look back on this with some compassion and some feeling that I didn’t let you down.” (11.53)

“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 houseful of children out there. You understand?” (23.15)

“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.” (9.175)

“Son, I have no doubt that you’ve been annoyed by your contemporaries about me lawing for niggers, as you say, but to do something like this to a sick old lady is inexcusable. I strongly advise you to go down and have a talk with Mrs. Dubose,” said Atticus. “Come straight home afterward.” (11.43)

“Link, that boy might go to the chair, but he’s not going till the truth’s told.” Atticus’s voice was even. “And you know what the truth is.” (15.23)

“You know the truth, and the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men are not to be trusted around women—black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men. There is not a person in this courtroom who has never told a lie, who has never done an immoral thing, and there is no man living who has never looked upon a woman without desire.” (20.48)

“Heck,” Atticus’s back was turned. “If this thing’s hushed up it’ll be a simple denial to Jem of the way I’ve tried to raise him. Sometimes I think I’m a total failure as a parent, but I’m all they’ve got. Before Jem looks at anyone else he looks at me, and I’ve tried to live so I can look squarely back at him… if I connived at something like this, frankly I couldn’t meet his eye, and the day I can’t do that I’ll know I’ve lost him. I don’t want to lose him and Scout, because they’re all I’ve got.” (30.37)

“In the second place, they’re afraid. Then, they’re-”

“Afraid, why?” asked Jem.

“Well, what if—say, Mr. Link Deas had to decide the amount of damages to award, say, Miss Maudie, when Miss Rachel ran over her with a car. Link wouldn’t like the thought of losing either lady’s business at his store, would he? So he tells Judge Taylor that he can’t serve on the jury because he doesn’t have anybody to keep store for him while he’s gone. […]

“Serving on a jury forces a man to make up his mind and declare himself about something. Men don’t like to do that. Sometimes it’s unpleasant.” (23.47-52)

“Don’t pay any attention to her, just hold your head high and be a gentleman.” (11.23)

“For one thing, Miss Maudie can’t serve on a jury because she’s a woman-”

“You mean women in Alabama can’t-?” I was indignant.

“I do. I guess it’s to protect our frail ladies from sordid cases like Tom’s. Besides,” Atticus grinned, “I doubt if we’d ever get a complete case tried—the ladies’d be interrupting to ask questions.”

Jem and I laughed. Miss Maudie on a jury would be impressive. I thought of old Mrs. Dubose in her wheelchair—”Stop that rapping, John Taylor, I want to ask this man something.” Perhaps our forefathers were wise. (23.43-46)

Atticus’s voice was even: “Alexandra, Calpurnia’s not leaving this house until she wants to. You may think otherwise, but I couldn’t have got along without her all these years. She’s a faithful member of this family and you’ll simply have to accept things the way they are.” (14.28)

“Heck,” Atticus’s back was turned. “If this thing’s hushed up it’ll be a simple denial to Jem of the way I’ve tried to raise him. Sometimes I think I’m a total failure as a parent, but I’m all they’ve got. Before Jem looks at anyone else he looks at me, and I’ve tried to live so I can look squarely back at him… if I connived at something like this, frankly I couldn’t meet his eye, and the day I can’t do that I’ll know I’ve lost him. I don’t want to lose him and Scout, because they’re all I’ve got.” (30.37)

Simplified Atticus Finch Quotes

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 see it through no matter what.

Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.

Are you proud of yourself tonight that you have insulted a total stranger whose circumstances you know nothing about?

There’s a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep ’em all away from you. That’s never possible.

“Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It’s knowing 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.”

“You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”

“Courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.”

“Will you tell me about Genghis Khan’s whores while I’m in the bath?” “Hordes, not whores. He had both, though, now that you mention it.” “Sounds like he was a busy guy.” You have no idea.”

“Jen and I were accustomed to our father’s last-will-and-testament diction, and were at times free to interrupt Atticus for a translation when it was beyond our understanding.”

“And for goodness’ sake put some of the county back where it belongs, the soil erosion’s bad enough as it is.”
Dill stared at my father’s retreating figure.
“He’s trying tryin’ to be funny,” I said.”

“She was the bravest person I ever knew.”

“That’s what a skinwalker is: a mean asshole with a meaner spirit squatting inside.”

“(Brin) ‘How good is your lawyer, on a scale of Atticus Finch to Franklin and Bash?”

“Being immortal did not make me invincible. Look at what the Bacchants did to that poor Orpheus fella.”

“She was everything real in a world of make-believe. ”

“He’s the same in the court-room as he is on the public streets.”

Honesty with children:

“When a child asks you something, answer him for goodness sake!”
“Are we going to win the trial? No, honey”
“What’s rape? ‘Rape is carnal knowledge of a female by force and without consent.”

Atticus as a loving father:

“We’ll go on reading every night just as we always have.”
“Atticus was never too tried to play keep away.”
“I don’t want to lose him and Scout because they’re all I’ve got.”

Atticus in the community:

“Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father’s passin’.”

“I simply want to tell you that there are some men in this world who were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father’s one of them.”

“Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets.”

“Mr Finch is courteous to everybody.”

Atticus Finch Heroic Quotes:

“I’d rather it be me than that household full of children out there.”

Courteous:

“Good evening Mrs Dubose! You look pretty as a picture.”

Respectful:

“I do my best to love everybody.”
“It’s not okay to hate anybody.”

Respected:

“We trust him to do right.”

Atticus Finch Brave Quotes:

“You can turn around and go home.”

Heavy conscious:

“I’ve got to live with myself.”

Calm:

“Infinite capacity to calm turbulent seas.”
“He closed it, folded it deliberately, dropped it in his lap, and pushed his hat to the back of his head.”

Gentle:

“If Atticus drank until he was drunk he wouldn’t be as hard as some men are at their best.”

Fair:

“Atticus doesn’t ever just listen to Jem’s side of it, he hears mine too.”

Children opinion of him:

“Jem and I found our father satisfactory”
“he was so old”
“Atticus wasn’t interested in guns.”
“This was not my father.”

One Comment to “Atticus Finch Quotes with Page Numbers”

  1. My favorite is “Atticus doesn’t ever just listen to Jem’s side of it, he hears mine too.”

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