As a reader I loathe introductions...Introductions inhibit pleasure, they kill the joy of anticipation, they frustrate curiosity.
Jem, naturally, was Boo: he went under the front steps and shrieked and howled from time to time.
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.
Cry about the simple hell people give other people- without even thinking. Cry about the hell white people give colored folks, without even stopping to think that they're people too.
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.
We're paying the highest tribute you can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It's that simple.
I suppose she chose me because she knew my name; as I read the alphabet a faint line appeared between her eyebrows, and after making me read most of My First Reader and the stock-market quotations from The Mobile Register aloud, she discovered that I was literate and looked at me with more than faint distaste. Miss Caroline told me to tell my father not to teach me any more, it would interfere with my reading.
Shoulder up, I reeled around to face Boo Radley and his bloody fangs; instead, I saw Dill ringing the bell with all his might in Atticus's face.
Asked him and he said he wasn't. Besides, nothin's real scary except on books.
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.
The warm bittersweet smell of clean Negro welcomed us as we entered the churchyard-Hearts of Love hairdressing mingled with asafoetida, snuff, Hoyt's Cologne, Brown's Mule, peppermint, and lilac talcum.
Dill if you don't hush I'll knock you bowlegged.
No, everybody's gotta learn, nobody's born knowin'. That Walter's as smart as he can be, he just gets held back sometimes because he has to stay out and help his daddy. Nothin's wrong with him. Naw, Jem, I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks.
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.
I try to give'em a reason, you see. It helps folks if they can latch onto a reason.
Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.
Atticus had said it was the polite thing to talk to people about what they were interested in, not about what you were interested in.
Ladies in bunches always filled me with vague apprehension and a firm desire to be elsewhere.
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.
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.
Nobody knew what form of intimidation Mr. Radley employed to keep Boo out of sight, but Jem figured that Mr. Radley kept him chained to the bed most of the time. Atticus said no, it wasn't that sort of thing, that there were other ways of making people into ghosts.
When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.
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.
Some negroes lie, some are immoral, some negro men are not be trusted around women - black and white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men.
Atticus said naming people after Confederate generals made slow steady drinkers.
Long ago, in a burst of friendliness, Aunty and Uncle Jimmy produced a son named Henry…
There are just some kind of men…who're so busy worrying about the next world they've never learned to live in this one.
Finders were keepers unless title was proven.
Nothing is more deadly than a deserted, waiting street.
When it was time to play Boo's big scene, Jem would sneak into the house, steal the scissors from the sewingmachine drawer when Calpurnia's back was turned, then sit in the swing and cut up newspapers. Dill would walk by, cough at Jem, and Jem would fake a plunge into Dill's thigh. From where I stood it looked real.
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