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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
Transcript of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
"Shoot all the
if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin
BY HARPER LEE
"Jem's head at times was
transparent: he had thought
that up to make me understand
that he wasn't afraid of Radleys
in any shape or form, to contrast
his own fearless heroism to my
"Atticus had promised me he would
wear me out if he ever heard of me
fightin' any more. I was far too old
and too big for such childish things,
and the sooner I learned to hold in,
the better off everybody else would be."
"Boo was about 6 1/2 feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirells and any cats he could catch, that's why his hands were bloodstained-if you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time."
"Among other things, he
had been up in a mail plane seventeen times, he had been to Nova Scotia, he had seen an elephant, and his grandaddy was Brigadier General Joe Wheeler and left him his sword."
“They're certainly entitled
to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions... but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.”
"I wanted you to see what
is, instead of getting the idea that courage
is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when
you know you're licked before you begin,
but you begin anyway and see it through
no matter what."
"Hush your mouth! Don't
matter who they are, anybody sets
foot in this house's yo' comp'ny, and don't you let me catch you remarkin' on their ways like you was so high and mighty!"
"Atticus had used every
tool available to free men to save Tom Robinson, but in the secret courts of men's hearts Atticus had no case. Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed."
"She took off her glasses and
stared at me. "I'll tell you why,"
she said. "Because—he—is—trash, that's why you can't play with him. I'll not have you around him, picking up his habits and learning Lord-knows-what."
"Mr. Ewell may be barely
literate, but he's a veritable Shakespeare when it comes to offensive language. The way he phrases his accusation achieves an impressive feat of multitasking."
"I got somethin' to say an' then
I ain't gonna say no more. That
nigger yonder took advantage of me an' if you fine fancy gentlemen don't wanta do nothin' about it then you're all yellow stinkin' cowards, stinkin' cowards, the lot of you. Your fancy airs don't come to nothin'—your ma'amin' and Miss Mayellerin' don't come to nothin', Mr. Finch-" Then she burst into real tears."
MAN VS. SOCIETY
"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 they finally saw him, why he hadn’t done any of those things . . . Atticus, he was real nice. . . .” His hands were under my chin, pulling up the cover, tucking it around me. “Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.”
The narrative is very tough, because [Lee] has to both be a kid on the street and aware of the mad dogs and the spooky houses, and have this beautiful vision of how justice works and all the creaking mechanisms of the courthouse. Part of the beauty is that she... trusts the visual to lead her, and the sensory.
A first novel of such rare excellence that it will no doubt make a great many readers slow down to relish more fully its simple distinction.... A novel of strong contemporary significance."
"That rare literary phenomenon, a Southern novel with no mildew on its magnolia leaves. Funny, happy, and written with unpeculiar precision."
"Novelist Lee's prose has an edge that cuts through cant, and she teaches the reader an astonishing number of useful truths about little kids and the Southern life."