Farewell, Harper Lee: Timeless Quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird
Farewell, Harper Lee. We will miss your charm, your humor, and your wisdom.
The beloved author passed away on Friday in Monroeville, Alabama. Like many of you, we first fell under her spell in school. Her first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, is one the most taught works of fiction—and for good reason. While the story handles complex issues of race in the Deep South, it's all seen through the eyes of young Scout, one of literature's most endearing and unforgettable narrators.
Every year more readers find—and fall in love with—To Kill a Mockingbird. Not only is it the #4 most read book on Goodreads (ahead of other classics such as The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, and Pride and Prejudice), but it is the #3 book with the highest number of 5-star ratings—people truly love this story.
A follow-up to To Kill a Mockingbird was published last year. Go Set a Watchman was the book everyone talked about in 2015, and Goodreads readers were no different: They voted it the Best Fiction of 2015 in the Goodreads Choice Awards.
Celebrate Lee's life and work with these timeless quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird.
1. "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."
2. "Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts."
3. "I wanted you to see what real courage 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."
5. "You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don't you let 'em get your goat. Try fightin' with your head for a change."
6. "I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks."
7. "The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."
8. "Atticus said to Jem one day, 'I'd rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you'll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.' That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. 'Your father's right,' she said. 'Mockingbirds don't do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corn cribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.'"
9. "Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing."
What's your favorite To Kill a Mockingbird quote?
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