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Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” Quotes (86 Quotes)


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  • I was not so sure, but Jem told me I was being a girl, that girls always imagined things, that's why other people hated them so, and if I started behaving like one I could just go off and find some to play with.
    (Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird")

  • Miss Caroline seemed unaware that the ragged, denim-shirted and floursack-skirted first grade, most of whom had chopped cotton and fed hogs from the time they were able to walk, were immune to imaginative literature.
    (Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird")

  • People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.
    (Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird")

  • Again, as I had often met it in my own church, I was confronted with the Impurity of Women doctrine that seemed to preoccupy all clergymen.
    (Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird")

  • 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. 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 Finch
    (Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird")


  • Dill if you don't hush I'll knock you bowlegged.
    (Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird")

  • What happened after that had a dreamlike quality: in a dream I saw the jury return, moving like underwater swimmers, and Judge Taylor's voice came from far away, and was tiny. I saw something only a lawyer's child could be expected to see, could be expected to watch for, and it was like watching Atticus walk into the street, raise a rifle to his shoulder and pull the trigger, but watching all the time knowing that the gun was empty.
    (Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird")

  • I was proceeding on the dim theory, aside from the innate attractiveness of such words, that if Atticus discovered I had picked them up at school he wouldn't make me go.
    (Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird")

  • Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passin'.
    (Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird")

  • People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.
    (Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird")

  • As a reader I loathe introductions...Introductions inhibit pleasure, they kill the joy of anticipation, they frustrate curiosity.
    (Harper Lee, "To Kill A Mockingbird")

  • The remainder of my schooldays were no more auspicious than the first. Indeed, they were an endless Project that slowly evolved into a Unit, in which miles of construction paper and wax crayon were expended by the State of Alabama in its well-meaning but fruitless efforts to teach me Group Dynamics.
    (Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird")

  • Dill was off again. Beautiful things floated around in his dreamy head. He could read two books to my one, but he preferred the magic of his own inventions. He could add and subtract faster than lightning, but he preferred his own twilight world, a world where babies slept, waiting to be gathered like morning lilies.
    (Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird")

  • When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.
    (Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird")

  • 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.
    (Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird")


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    More Harper Lee Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - To Kill a Mockingbird

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