Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing. It seemed that Scout Finch was always reading. She had started to read at a young age. Long before starting school, reading seemed natural to Scout. It was simply a part of her life. On Scout's first day of school, however, her teacher told her to stop reading. Miss Caroline said that Scout should no longer read with her father each night. Instead, she wanted Scout to learn how to read the "right" way.... It seemed that Scout Finch was always reading. She had started to read at a young age. Long before starting school, reading seemed natural to Scout. It was simply a part of her life. On Scout's first day of school, however, her teacher told her to stop reading. Miss Caroline said that Scout should no longer read with her father each night. Instead, she wanted Scout to learn how to read the "right" way. It was after this scene that Scout made the following statement: Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing (To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 2). After Miss Caroline's new command, Scout gained a new appreciation for reading. She realized that she valued reading. It was important to her. She also realized that reading was so essential to her life that it was like breathing. She did not pay attention to it, but yet it was a necessary part of daily life.
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.- Atticus Finch
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.
Atticus said to Jem one day, "I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird." That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. "Your father’s right," she said. "Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.
Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)... 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.
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
Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.
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 faster than adults, and evasion simply muddles 'em.
If there's just one kind of folks, why can't they get along with each other? If they're all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I'm beginning to understand something. I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time. It's because he wants to stay inside.
Neighbors bring food with death and flowers with sickness and little things in between. Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad.
It's not necessary to tell all you know. It's not ladylike -- in the second place, folks don't like to have someone around knowin' more than they do. It aggravates them. Your not gonna change any of them by talkin' right, they've got to want to learn themselves, and when they don't want to learn there's nothing you can do but keep your mouth shut or talk their language.
We know all men are not created equal in the sense some people would have us believe- some people are smarter than others, some people have more opportunity because they're born with it, some men make more money than others, some ladies make better cakes than others- some people are born gifted beyond the normal scope of men.But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal- there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court.
Summer, and he watches his children's heart break. Autumn again and Boo's children needed him. Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.
Atticus sat looking at the floor for a long time. Finally he raised his head. Scout, he said, Mr. Ewell fell on his knife. Can you possibly understand?Atticus looked like he needed cheering up. I ran to him and hugged him and kissed him with all my might. Yes sir, I understand, I reassured him. Mr. Tate was right.Atticus disengaged himself and looked at me. What do you mean?Well, it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird, wouldn’t it?Atticus put his face in my hair and rubbed it. When he got up and walked across the porch into the shadows, his youthful step had returned. Before he went inside the house, he stopped in front of Boo Radley. Thank you for my children, Arthur. he said.