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To Kill a Mockingbird Key Themes and Quotes
A selection of colour-coded quotes for each important theme in To Kill a Mockingbird.
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To Kill a Mockingbird Key Themes and Quotes
"Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks"
"Why, one sprig of nut-grass can ruin a whole yard."
"Inside...was a white, waxy, perfect camellia."
"It won't be many years, Jean Louise, before you become interested in clothes and boys"
"a Drinking Streak, a Gambling Streak, a Mean Streak, a Funny Streak."
"evidently taking delight in corrupting a child"
"In our courts all men are created equal"
"Hypocrites, Mrs Perkins, born hypocrites....At least we don't have that sin on our shoulders"
"Over here we don't believe in persecuting anybody."
"Miss Caroline caught me writing and told me to tell my father to stop teaching me."
"well-meaning but fruitless efforts to teach me Group Dynamics"
"wasn't much else left for us to learn, except possibly algebra"
"Don't matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house's yo' comp'ny"
"Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets."
"if I didn't I couldn't hold my head up in the town"
"If this thing's hushed up it'll be a simple denial to Jem of the way I've tried to raise him."
"Ain't no snot-nosed slut of a schoolteacher ever born c'n make me do nothin'!"
"His curtness stung me."
"a little bantam cock of a man"
"like the playhouse of an insane child"
"You goddamn whore, I'll kill ya"
Empathy and Understanding
"You never really understand a person... until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."
"Jem, she's old and ill. You can't hold her responsible for her actions."
"That Calpurnia led a modest double life never dawned on me."
"Atticus had said it was the polite thing to talk to people about what they were interested in"
"It's like bein' a caterpillar in a cocoon"
"it's because he wants to stay inside"
"Well, it'd be sort of like shootin' a mockingbird, wouldn't it?"
"Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them."
Innocence and its Removal
"did you put cement in that hole in that tree down yonder?"
"Children...can spot an evasion quicker than adults"
"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. ... That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."
"I don't care one speck. It ain't right, somehow it ain't right to do 'em that way."
"You haven't even seen this town, but all you gotta do is step back inside the courthouse."
"Because you're children and you can understand it"
"and his shoulders jerked as if each 'guilty' was a separate stab between them"
He likened Tom's death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds"
"Will you take me home?"
Kindness and Courage
"thought it sensible to save what she valued most"
"Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win"
"I haven't shot a gun in thirty years-...I'd feel might comfortable if you did now"
"I wanted you to see what real courage is....According to her views, she died beholden to nothing and nobody. She was the bravest person I ever knew."
"it ain't your fault if Uncle Atticus is a nigger-lover"
"Negroes worshipped in it on Sundays and white men gambled in it on weekdays."
"She owned a bright green square Brick and a black chauffeur, both kept in an unhealthy state of tidiness"
"You know what we want. Get aside from the door, Mr Finch."
"just in-betweens, don't belong anywhere"
"I seen that black nigger yonder ruttin' on my Mayella!"
"Jedge, I've asked this county for fifteen years to clean out that nest down yonder."
"Mr Finch, if you was a nigger like me, you'd be scared, too."
"You felt sorry for her, you felt sorry for her?"
"Cry about the hell white people give coloured folk, without even stopping to think that they're people, too."
"that all Negroes lie, that all Negroes are basically immoral beings..."
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