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To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes

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1. “Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.” Speaker: Atticus
Shows his strong sense of character about doing what is morally right to do, regardless of what others think He is not persuaded by the rest of Maycomb’s racist ways. Racism is a prominent factor in the novel Sets a good example, he is a leader in Maycomb, and for his children

“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.” Speaker: Miss Maudie

Repeats the mockingbird theme shortly after Atticus introduces it to us Clarifies the theme Connects Atticus and Miss Maudie on their similar beliefs, and lessons they hope to instill in the children

“I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” Speaker: Atticus

Introduces theme about mockingbirds
Representative of Atticus’ beliefs, helps us to see his character and morals We begin to see the symbolism between his lesson and the mockingbirds of the novel (Tom Robinson, Boo Radley)

“The main reason is, if I didn’t couldn’t hold up my head in town, I couldn’t represent this county in the legislature, I couldn’t even tell toy or Jem not to do something again.” Speaker: Atticus

Atticus is staying true to his character as a leader in town by taking Tom Robinson’s case, by doing what is right If Atticus was to not take the case, he himself would know inside he would be doing the wrong thing He would be a hypocrite telling his children to do the right thing, if he himself was not able to Stays true to his admirable, strong character

“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.” Speaker: Atticus

Atticus deepens his children’s understanding of what courage is, and helps to see it from different point of view Repeats the theme of courage

Connection to Atticus’s taking of Tom Robinson’s trial

“To my way of thinkin’, Mr. Finch, taking the one man who’s done you and this town a great service an’ draggin’s him with his shy ways into the limelight – to me. That’s a sin it’s a sin and I’m not about to have it on my head. If it was any other man it’d be different. But not this man, Mr. Finch.” Speaker: Heck Tate

Connection to mockingbird theme, we see how Mr Tate understands Boo Radley’s innocence and how he would not like to be exposed to the public. Heck Tate respects Boo Radley’s privacy. Character development, as we see Heck Tate does what he believes is best for Boo Radley

“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.” Speaker: Atticus

Atticus passes on, and attempts to teach his children his wisdom, this is yet another lesson he tries to instill in them Demonstrates his view point on equality, which ties into the theme of racism throughout the novel We see the relationship between Scout and Atticus, and her great level of respect for her father

“Some folks don’t like the way I live… I try to give ‘em reason, you see. It helps folks if they can.. say he’s in the clutches of whiskey – that’s why he won’t change his ways.” Speaker: Dolphus Raymond

Connection to the reoccurring problem of racism in Maycomb, Dolphus labels himself a drunk to avoid the judgements of the town in which he would receive Character development, we learn Dolphus is actually a wealthy, sober man, who chooses to live this way to avoid the hypocrisy of Maycomb’s society

“I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”
Speaker: Scout
We see Scout’s innocence, she has not gained hatred for anyone and is not racist Repeats the theme of racism
We see Scouts maturity level and understanding of human kind is extremely high for her age

“I don’t know [how they could convict Tom Robinson], but they did it. They’ve done it before and they did it tonight and they’ll do it again and when they do it-seems that only children weep. Speaker: Atticus

We see the prejudices that society has become accustomed to, and learn that only children (Jem) weep because they see it’s wrong. Other’s see it as wrong but accept this as ways of life. The corruptness of the town is evident in this scene. We see the unfairness of racism, the reoccurrence of this theme

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