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Lawyer Quotes

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 “There are some men in this world who are born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father’s one of them.” - Miss Maudie Atkinson

  • This quote describes Atticus and his profession as a lawyer. Even though it is one of the most unpleasant jobs in the world, he took it on his shoulders so someone else wouldn't have to. It is a tough job and he braves through it because he knows what he is doing is right.

“Somewhere, I had received the impression that Fine Folks were people who did the best they could with the sense they had, but Aunt Alexandra was of the opinion, obliquely expressed, that the longer a family had been squatting on one patch of land the finer it was.”- Aunt Alexandra

  • Aunt Alexandra retains a confident attitude of the importance of what one is as a determinant of who one becomes. She takes pride in the Finches' family tree because good breeding is important to her and believes the qualities one inherits are determinants of maturity. Although Scout is naïve in her narration of her aunt's attitude, the effect of Scout's description is satiric. Harper Lee mocks traditional beliefs by absurdly depicting them, through Scout’s innocent voice.

“Atticus had promised me he would wear me out if he ever heard of me fighting anymore; I was far too old and too big for such childish things, and sooner I learned to hold in, the better off everybody would be.” -Scout

  • Scout proves that she is willing to mature at such a crucial time. She discovers that it is more critical for Atticus to focus on the defense of Tom Robinson, instead of focusing on her minor problems. This particular sacrifice portrays the fact that Scout is beginning to realize the amount of prejudice in the town and wants her father to help people accept racial differences.

“I know. Your daughter gave me my first lessons this afternoon. She said I didn’t understand children much and told me why. She was quite right. Atticus, she told me how I should have treated her – oh dear, I’m sorry I romped on her.”- Uncle Jack

  • The quote mentions that Atticus understands that children have a strong sense of what’s right and wrong and they can quickly point out if something doesn’t seem right. He was once a child too, and he perhaps can still see from a child’s point of view. He’s also scared that Scout will get used to a routine that society deems as ‘normal’ or ‘how it should be.’ He suggests that people should look more from a child’s point of view.

“I was not so sure, but Jem told me I was 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.”- Scout

  • Scout believes that being a girl is inadequate, and being a boy is superior. At a very young age, she realizes “people hated them,” and that she is better off acting like a boy so that she can be a right person.

“What are you doing in those overalls? You should be in a dress and camisole, young lady! You’ll grow up waiting on tables if somebody doesn’t change your ways-a Finch waiting on tables at the O.K. Café—hah” -Miss Maudie  

  • Miss Maudie tells Scout to be more ladylike; she must wear a dress and camisole instead of overalls. Miss Maudie tries to teach Scout to start acting like a girl, if someone doesn’t change her, her future will be disappointing, and it is unexpected for a Finch to become a waiter. If she becomes a lady, she’ll have a better future and society will be more accepting of her.

 “The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."- Atticus

  • Atticus means that although the majority may agree, each person knows in their heart what the truth is. Each person has the responsibility to step up and do the right thing.

“Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)... 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 this street and see the results.”- Atticus

  • Harper Lee describes the folks of Maycomb from Atticus’ perspective. Many people aim to reach heaven by following Bible, focusing on the life they live when they die but have no idea what the present holds. They become oblivious towards the current issues. The quote describes the people of Maycomb. They think they’re doing justice in God’s hand, but instead, they are hurting one another.

“Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what” - Atticus

  • This quote communicates the theme of courage that is present in the story to the reader. Atticus explains that courage is a mental decision. Without mental and emotional fortitude, it is impossible to demonstrate courage when it is most needed. Atticus wants Jem to distinguish between real grit and the outward appearance of courage.

“There’s just some kind of men you have to shoot before you can say hidy to ‘em. Even then, they ain’t worth the bullet it takes to shoot ‘em” - Tate

  • This quote develops the character of Bob Ewell and how he is not held highly in the eyes of the other citizens of Maycomb. Later in the story, Tom Robinson has been found guilty of rape and has been sentenced to death. The readers realize that, although Bob Ewell is ‘white trash,’ he is still seen as better than a black man in the eyes of the Maycomb citizens.

 “You see, they could never, never understand that I live the way I do because that’s the way I want to live” - Mr. Dolphus Raymond

  • This quote communicates the theme of racism to the reader. Mr. Dolphus Raymond viewed as an alcoholic in Maycomb county. However, he is not an alcoholic and only upholds the trade because he is married to a black woman and has mixed race children. He believes that it will be easier for the citizens of Maycomb to accept that he is always drunk and is insensible than them knowing that he has no problem with living the way he is.

“Sometimes it’s better to bend the law a little in special cases” - Atticus

  • This quote helps the reader to understand the theme of innocence in the book. It is referring to how it is a sin to kill a Mockingbird and how it is fine to “bend the law a little” to prevent an innocent person from being punished for something they did not do.

“I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks” -Scout

  • This quote addresses the underlying themes of racism and innocence in the novel. It presents to the readers that as a young child, Scout is incapable of being racist because she is young. She is innocent of the racism present in the community until the end of Tom Robinson’s trial

“Maybe he doesn’t have anywhere to run off to” - Dill

  • This quote causes the reader sympathize with Arthur Radley. It shows the importance of viewing things from the perspective of another person before judging them.

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing” -Scout



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