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Course Hero. "To Kill a Mockingbird Study Guide." September 2, 2016. Accessed January 18, 2019.


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To Kill a Mockingbird | Quotes


Never ... understand a person ... until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.

Atticus, Chapter 3

Atticus is teaching Scout the importance of understanding others and their point of view. Atticus models this belief in his own life by defending Tom Robinson and protecting Boo Radley. The quote sets up the major change and growth in Scout's character that will occur over the course of the novel, as she too will learn how to do this.


Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts.

Scout, Chapter 7

This statement is Atticus's way of telling Scout that behind Jem's exaggeration there is a kernel of truth: school will become more interesting as she gets older.


When a child asks you something, answer him ... But don't make a production of it.

Atticus, Chapter 9

This statement, spoken to Uncle Jack, reinforces the idea that children understand much more than adults give them credit for. This underscores the importance of having a child narrator in a novel full of adult themes.


Remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.

Atticus, Chapter 10

The mockingbird is used throughout the novel as a metaphor and symbol for good and innocent creatures. Mockingbirds represent harmless people who deserve society's protection. Boo Radley is later likened to a mockingbird.


Before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself.

Atticus, Chapter 11

This statement provides insight into Atticus's character. He loves his community but cannot abide injustice. Even if his actions make enemies Atticus has to do what's right.


A gang of wild animals can be stopped, simply because they're still human.

Atticus, Chapter 16

Scout realizes that even though people do bad things, they're still human. If you can connect with a person human to human, you often can effect change.


One place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom.

Atticus, Chapter 23

This statement gets to the core of the novel's themes. Racism has prevented Tom Robinson from getting a fair trial even though the charges against him were obviously false. This statement continues to resonate with modern readers who see that despite America's great democracy, injustice is still commonplace.


I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks.

Scout, Chapter 23

Scout's childlike statement expresses the moral worldview of the novel that all people are deserving of equal treatment.


Well, it'd be sort of like shootin' a mockingbird, wouldn't it?

Scout, Chapter 30

With this question Scout shows her understanding of Heck Tate's decision not to prosecute Boo Radley for killing Mr. Ewell since Boo acted to protect the children.


Atticus was right. ... Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.

Scout, Chapter 31

Scout shows her maturity in her newfound understanding of Boo Radley's perspective on life. As she stood on the Radley porch she was able to imagine how Boo had watched Jem and her over the years, and realized that he had come to think of them as his children.

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