As the sad news of Harper Lee‘s passing hit us and the rest of the literary crowd this morning, we’ve decided to compile some of the best lines from To Kill a Mockingbird—inarguably one of the most influential and important novels in our lifetime. These lines, in context and out, are simultaneously ethereal and grounded, simple and complex.
Lee’s legacy in TKAM will be continuing to show students and readers about the importance of love, tolerance, and friendship. Rest in peace, Harper Lee.
“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
“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.”
“We’re paying the highest tribute you can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It’s that simple.”
“Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.”
“I don’t want to hear any words like that while I’m here. Scout, you’ll get in trouble if you go around saying things like that. You want to grow up to be a lady, don’t you?
I said not particularly.”
“Neighbors bring food with death and flowers with sickness and little things in between. Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad.”
“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”