Houston's Reviews > To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
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Mar 22, 14


“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”(p. 20)

I love this book and this idea of reading being like breathing. As Scout did, I read early too, and often. Every night before bed I would read and still do. I saw a Twilight Zone Episode once where the main character loved to read and only wanted to be left alone to do so. After falling asleep in the vault of the bank where he worked, he awoke to a post-disaster world where only he was left. He busily gathered together all the books he wanted to read, all organized and stacked up. Just as he chose one to start with, his glasses fell and he stepped on them trying to find them. It was terrible and I remember feeling horrified that this man would never get to read again! Such a thought had never occurred to me. This semester I had to get glasses myself after suffering migraines from reading. I was so nervous at the eye doctor because the thought of not being able to read was too much for me. Of course, I only needed readers, but when I ran across this quote, I thought about how much like breathing reading is for me.


“Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.” (p. 87)

Never say die! Fight the good fight no matter what! I love the anti-defeatist message in this quote. Even though Atticus knows the deck is stacked against him, he tries anyway. He understands that sometimes you have to fight the un-winnable fight just for the chance that you might win. It makes me think that what he’s trying to teach his children is never to give up just because things look dim.


“...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.” (p. 120)

As Shakespeare said, “To thine own self be true.” That’s really all that matters. At the end of the day, when you lay down, you have to know that you did the right things, acted the right way and stayed true to yourself. Again, Atticus understands that the town is talking; he has to explain to his kids why he continues against the tide of popular thought. He sums it up so well here.

“We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad.”(p. 320)

I love the sad way this quote sounds. It is clearly the thoughts of a child, for hadn’t Scout just given Boo his dignity as they were walking home? Hadn’t she and Jem given him children to care for and watch over? But she knows too, even from her child’s perspective, that they could never give him anything close to what he had given them—their lives. It just sounds so beautifully sad.

Works Cited
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: HarperCollins, 2002. Print.
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Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

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Trish I love your Twilight Zone Episode comment...so true. I love to read and I wish that is all I could do for days and days. Sometimes I get to wrapped up in it and have to come back to reality.


Ebby no WAY!! I too was affected by that same Twilight Zone episode! I got so freaked out that I made DYMO labels of all of my book titles, and attached them to their spines so that I could find them if I was struck with a sudden blindness (also, it didn't help that I was reading a biography of Annie Sullivan at the same time). It never occurred to me that if I were blind, it wouldn't do me much good to locate my books through my ingenious (I thought) labeling system...


Charlette I remember that episode as well, I cried because his glasses were broken


yuna kudo I agree to your quote from page 87!
Though he was not successful on the court case, he still made a difference in the society in one way or the other. Though the town folk were still afraid to be different, or to make a difference, they were touched by his words, his actions, and his courage and respected him for the things he did for Tom Robinson


Ellie Very good review! But, the quote about where "we had given him nothing, and it made me sad" is on page 373. Just letting you know.


Sherry Mabry This was one of my favorite quotes out of the entire book. I wrote it down and keep it close by.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

wonderful :)


Houston I double checked my citation, but in my copy it is on page 320. I must have a different edition than yours.

Ellie wrote: "Very good review! But, the quote about where "we had given him nothing, and it made me sad" is on page 373. Just letting you know."


Allison Stout i loved it. :) great reveiw, and very well writen


message 10: by Ruby (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ruby Kaur What a great review! All the lines you quoted from the book were the same that resonated with me.


Jason Great quotes from the book! Especially the last one.. God, I love this story.


message 12: by Alan (new)

Alan Sheinwald A touching book, simply for being so remarkably real.


message 13: by Adam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Adam Gottbetter Haven't started reading the book yet, but after reading your review I find it captivating!! Adam Gottbetter


Christina I am so glad you pointed out that quote!


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