To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird quotes

56 total quotes (ID: 718)

Atticus Finch
Charles Baker 'Dill' Harris
Jean Louise 'Scout' Finch
Jeremy 'Jem' Finch
Maudie Atkinson
Multiple Characters
Narrator (Scout as an adult)
Sheriff Tate
Tom Robinson


Seemed like every time I passed by yonder, she'd have some little somethin' for me to do, choppin' kindlin', and totin' water for her.


Well, I said I best be goin', I couldn't do nothin' for her, an' she said, oh, yes I could. An' I asked her what, and she said to jus' step on the chair yonder an' git that box down from on top of the chifforobe. So I done like she told me, and I was reachin' when the next thing I know she...grabbed me aroun' the legs. (A murmur erupts in the courthouse) She scared me so bad I hopped down an' turned the chair over. That was the only thing, only furniture 'sturbed in the room, Mr. Finch, I swear, when I left it....Mr. Finch, I got down off the chair, and I turned around an' she sorta jumped on me. She hugged me aroun' the waist. She reached up an' kissed me on the face. She said she'd never kissed a grown man before an' she might as well kiss me. She says for me to kiss her back. And I said, Miss Mayella, let me outta here, an' I tried to run. Mr. Ewell cussed at her from the window and said he's gonna kill her.

He can do plenty of things...He can make somebody's will so airtight you can't break it. You count your blessings and stop complaining, both of you. Thank your stars he has the sense to act his age.

Jem: There goes the meanest man that ever took a breath of life.
Dill: Why is he the meanest man?
Jem: Well, for one thing, he has a boy named Boo that he keeps chained to a bed in the house over yonder...See, he lives over there. Boo only comes out at night when you're asleep and it's pitch-dark. When you wake up at night, you can hear him. Once I heard him scratchin' on our screen door, but he was gone by the time Atticus got there.
Dill: I wonder what he does in there? I wonder what he looks like?
Jem: Well, judgin' from his tracks, he's about six and a half feet tall. He eats raw squirrels and all the cats he can catch. There's a long, jagged scar that runs all the way across his face. His teeth are yella and rotten. His eyes are popped. And he drools most of the time.

Atticus: Do you know what a compromise is?
Scout: Bendin' the law?
Atticus: Uh, no. It's an agreement reached by mutual consent. Now, here's the way it works. You concede the necessity of goin' to school, we'll keep right on readin' the same every night, just as we always have. Is that a bargain?
Narrator: There just didn't seem to be anyone or anything Atticus couldn't explain. Though it wasn't a talent that would arouse the admiration of any of our friends, Jem and I had to admit he was very good at that, but that was all he was good at, we thought.

I remember when my daddy gave me that gun. He told me that I should never point it at anything in the house. And that he'd rather I'd shoot at tin cans in the backyard, but he said that sooner or later he supposed the temptation to go after birds would be too much, and that I could shoot all the blue jays I wanted, if I could hit 'em, but to remember it was a sin to kill a mockingbird...Well, I reckon because mockingbirds don't do anything but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat people's gardens, don't nest in the corncribs, they don't do one thing but just sing their hearts out for us.

[to Jem, about Bob Ewell] No need to be afraid of him, son. He's all bluff. 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.

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.

The State has not produced one iota of medical evidence that the crime Tom Robinson is charged with ever took place.

She lied in an effort to get rid of her own guilt. Now I say guilt, gentlemen, because it was guilt that motivated her. 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 must destroy the evidence of her offense. But what was the evidence of her offense? Tom Robinson - a human being. She must put Tom Robinson away from her. Tom Robinson was for her, a daily reminder of what she did. Now what did she do? She tempted a Negro. 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.

The witnesses for the State, with the exception of the Sheriff of Maycomb County, have presented themselves to you gentlemen, to this court, in the cynical confidence that their testimony would not be doubted. Confident that you gentlemen would go along with them on the assumption, the evil assumption, that all Negros lie, that all Negroes are basically immoral beings, all Negro men are not to be trusted around our women. An assumption that one associates with minds of their caliber, and which is in itself, gentlemen, a lie, which I do not need to point out to you. And so, a quiet, humble, respectable Negro, who has had the unmitigated temerity to feel sorry for a white woman, has had to put his word against two white people.

Now gentlemen, in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal. I'm no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and of our jury system. That's no ideal to me. That is a living, working reality. Now I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence that you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this man to his family. In the name of God, do your duty. In the name of God, believe Tom Robinson.

Tom Robinson's dead. They were taking him to Abbottsville for safekeeping. Tom broke loose and ran. The deputy called out to him to stop. Tom didn't stop. He shot at him to wound him and missed his aim. Killed him. The deputy says Tom just ran like a crazy man. The last thing I told him was not to lose heart, that we'd ask for an appeal. We had such a good chance. We had more than a good chance.

...you'll see white men cheat black men everyday 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 that white man is Trash!

Thank you, Arthur. Thank you for my children.