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Greatest Atticus Quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird

He may be a fictional character, but we can all learn a little something from these Atticus quotes about life and the way we should be living.

Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird is the attorney that is assigned to represent Tom, a black man, who is wrongfully accused of a crime in the 1930s.

Even though it’s a given that he will not be able to win the case, Atticus does his very best to defend Tom because he knows he’s innocent and it’s the right thing to do.

His example of behavior and character in the book is one that we can learn from and be motivated by.

Don’t forget to also check out our collection of To Kill a Mockingbird quotes that will have you feeling nostalgic!

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration. 

Explore our complete collection of motivational quotes here.

Atticus quotes about courage

1. “Well, most folks seem to think they’re right and you’re wrong …” – Atticus Finch

2. “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.” – Atticus Finch

3. “No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let ‘em get your goat.” – Atticus Finch

4. “I do my best to love everybody.” – Atticus Finch

5. “Before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself.” – Atticus Finch

6. “It’s not time to worry yet…” – Atticus Finch

7. “Don’t pay any attention to her, just hold your head high and be a gentleman.” – Atticus Finch

8. “Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.” – Atticus Finch

9. “Best way to clear the air is to have it all out in the open.” – Atticus Finch

10. “He’s the same in the court-room as he is on the public streets.” – Atticus Finch

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Atticus quotes that will instill in you a strong sense of morality and justice

11. “There are some men in this world who are born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father’s one of them.” – Atticus Finch

12. “You are too young to understand it,” she said, “but sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whiskey bottle in the hand of—oh, of your father.” – Atticus Finch

13. “Jen and I were accustomed to our father’s last-will-and-testament diction, and were at times free to interrupt Atticus for a translation when it was beyond our understanding.” – Atticus Finch

14. “Atticus has instilled in his children his strong sense of morality and justice. He is one of the few residents of Maycomb committed to racial equality.” – Atticus Finch

15. “Atticus believes in justice and the justice system. He doesn’t like criminal law, yet he accepts the appointment to Tom Robinson’s case. He knows before he begins that he’s going to lose this case, but that doesn’t stop him from giving Tom the strongest defense he possibly can. And, importantly, Atticus doesn’t put so much effort into Tom’s case because he’s an African American, but because he is innocent. Atticus feels that the justice system should be color blind, and he defends Tom as an innocent man, not a man of color.” – Atticus Finch

16. “Atticus says you can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family, an’ they’re still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge ’em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don’t.” – Atticus Finch

17. “I suggested that one could be a ray of sunshine in pants just as well, but Aunty said that one had to behave like a sunbeam, that I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year. She hurt my feelings and set my teeth permanently on edge, but when I asked Atticus about it, he said there were already enough sunbeams in the family and to go on about my business, he didn’t mind me much the way I was.”- Atticus Finch

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Don’t forget to also check out these Macbeth quotes about power and ambition.

Atticusquotes about people

18. “Those are twelve reasonable men in everyday life, Tom’s jury, but you saw something come between them and reason. You saw the same thing that night in front of the jail. When that crew went away, they didn’t go as reasonable men, they went because we were there. There’s something in our world that makes men lose their heads—they couldn’t be fair if they tried.” – Atticus Finch

19. “Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand.” – Atticus Finch

20. “This time we aren’t fighting the Yankees, we’re fighting our friends. But remember this, no matter how bitter things get, they’re still our friends and this is still our home.” – Atticus Finch

21. “But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men. There is not a person in this courtroom who has never told a lie, who has never done an immoral thing, and there is no man living who has never looked upon a woman without desire.” – Atticus Finch

22. “No, everybody’s gotta learn, nobody’s born knowin’. That Walter’s as smart as he can be, he just gets held back sometimes because he has to stay out and help his daddy. Nothin’s wrong with him. Naw, Jem, I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.” – Atticus Finch

23. “Scout, simply by the nature of the work, every lawyer gets at least one case in his lifetime that affects him personally. This one’s mine, I guess. You might hear some ugly talk about it at school, but do one thing for me if you will: you just hold your head high and keep those fists down.” – Atticus Finch

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24. “Bad language is a stage all children go through, and it dies with time when they learn they’re not attracting attention with it.” – Atticus Finch

25. “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.” – Atticus Finch

If you’re enjoying this article, be sure to also check out our collection of Animal Farm quotes to teach you the power of too much power.

What can you learn from these Atticus quotes?

We are all faced with decisions from time to time on how we will choose to act and what type of person we will choose to be.

Atticus Finch is a great fictional example of a man that has strong principles and lives by them regardless of what others think of him because of it.

If you are in a trying time right now, you can use some of the quotes above to encourage you to stick with it.

Things aren’t always easy but that doesn’t mean that it’s not the right thing.

As Atticus points out, all men are created equal and should be treated as such.

Which of these Atticus quotes and lines resonated with you best?

Do you have any other favorite quotes to add?

Feel free to share with us in the comment section below.

We would love to hear all about it.

Norbert Juma, Lead Editor
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