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70 To Kill a Mockingbird Book Quotes From Harper Lee

A classic tale set in the 1930’s, these To Kill a Mockingbird quotes will have you feeling nostalgic!

To Kill a Mockingbird quotes

For over 50 years, this classic novel has captured the hearts of almost anyone who reads it. A story of a young girl and her father and demands for social justice and racial equality, To Kill a Mockingbird is still a favorite among many. And even decades after its release, many can still relate to the book’s message in our current social and government climate. Our latest collection of To Kill a Mockingbird quotes on the Everyday Power blog will inspire you to see the world in a different way.

To Kill a Mockingbird was a debut novel by Harper Lee, and a true classic of modern American literature. Published in 1960, the book quickly became successful, winning the 1961 Pulitzer Prize. It became a best-seller and was also made into a memorable movie in 1962.

To Kill a Mockingbird quotes

The book is about a family – a widowed father and his two children – who are living in Alabama in the 1930s. Atticus, the father, is a lawyer and is asked to defend a black man in a trial where he’s been accused of raping a white woman.

The story is primarily about this white family and how they navigate the moral questions raised by racial inequality. It is Scout, the young daughter, who’s telling this story and it’s her brother Jem, who’s four years older, who insists that the story actually begins long before the events of the summer when the trial takes place.

One of the most widely read American novels of the 20th century, To Kill a Mockingbird has inspired many people of all ages. The story teaches each one of us about the value of honesty, love, friendship, and trust. In that regard, here are some memorable quotes from the book.

To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes From Harper Lee

1.) “People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes on what people see

2.) “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes on majority rule

3.) “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view — until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes on understanding people

4.) “It’s not time to worry yet.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes about time

5.) “Equal rights for all, special privileges for none.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes about equal rights

6.) “People don’t like to have somebody knowing more than they do. It aggravates them.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes on knowing more than other people

7.) “I try to give’em a reason, you see. It helps folks if they can latch onto a reason.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

wise To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes

8.) “You don’t have to learn much out of books, it’s like if you want to learn about cows, you go milk one.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

 To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes on learning

9.) “If one went for a walk with no definite purpose in mind, it was correct to believe one’s mind incapable of definite purpose.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

 To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes about purpose

10.) “We generally get the juries we deserve.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

 To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes on getting what we deserve

“To Kill a Mockingbird” quotes to inspire and teach

11.) “You see they could never, never understand that I live like I do because that’s the way I want to live.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

 To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes on living the way you want to

12.) “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

 To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes on reading

13.) “People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

 To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes about talent

14.) “Sometimes it’s better to bend the law a little in special cases.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

 To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes on bending the law

15.) “I do my best to love everyday.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

 To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes about love

16.) “It’s not necessary to tell all you know. It’s not ladylike- in the second place, folks don’t like to have somebody around knowin’ more than they do.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

 To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes on telling all you know

17.) “If you can learn a simple trick, you’ll get along a lot better with all kind of folks.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

 To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes on getting along with people

18.) “There are just some kind of men who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

 To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes on living your best life

19.) “Cry about the simple hell people give other people—without even thinking.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

 To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes to make your day

20.) “The only way in which all men in America are equal, is in the courtroom.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

 To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes about the courtroom

To Kill a Mockingbird quotes to expand your mind

21.) “If we followed our feelings all the time, we’d be like cats chasin’ their tails.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes  about feelings

22.) “There’s a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep ’em all away from you. That’s never possible.”
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes  about the world

23.) “When stalking one’s prey, it is best to take one’s time. Say nothing, and as sure as eggs he will become curious and emerge.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes  about patience

24.) “Most people are nice when you finally see them.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes about nice people

25.) “Things are always better in the morning.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes about the mornings

26.) “Are you proud of yourself tonight that you have insulted a total stranger whose circumstances you know nothing about?” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes about strangers

27.) “Just remember that sometimes, the way you think about a person isn’t the way they actually are.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes on the way we think

28.) “Try fighting with your head for a change . . it’s a good one, even if it does resist learning.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes about change

29.) “Clowns are sad, it’s folks that laugh at them.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes about clowns

30.) “Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win,” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes to motivate you

Memorable To Kill a Mockingbird quotes

31.) “Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

32.) “I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

33.) “Bad language is a stage all children go through, and it dies with time when they learn they’re not attracting attention with it.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

34.) “I had never encountered a being who deliberately perpetuated fraud against himself.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

35.) “The apple does not fall far from the tree.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

to kill a mockingbird quotes to expand the mind

36.) “Atticus sometimes said that one way to tell whether a witness was lying or telling the truth was to listen rather than watch.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

37.) “I don’t see why I have to when he doesn’t. Then listen.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

38.) “Don’t worry, though, he’ll be as good as new. Boys his age bounce.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

39.) “It seems to me, that love could be labeled poison and we’d drink it anyways.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

40.) “He was as good as his worst performance; his worst performance was Gothic.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Powerful To Kill a Mockingbird quotes

41.) “We’re paying the highest tribute you can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It’s that simple.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

42.) “There are some men in this world who are born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father’s one of them.”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

43.) “You can’t really get to know a person until you get in their shoes and walk around in them.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

44.) “Things are never as bad as they seem.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

to kill a mockingbird quotes about life

45.) “I couldn’t go to church and worship God if I didn’t try to help that man.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

46.) “Never, never, never, on cross-examination ask a witness a question you don’t already know the answer to, was a tenet I absorbed with my baby-food.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

47.) “There are ways of doing things you don’t know about.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

48.) “Nearly never kills a bird” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

49.) “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

50.) “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” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird quotes that will change the way you think

51.) “This case is as simple as black and white.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

52.) “Had her conduct been more friendly toward me , I would have felt sorry for her. She was a pretty little thing.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

53.) “Well, it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird wouldn’t it?” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

54.) “You can’t go around making caricatures of the neighbors.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

55.) “Of course he shouldn’t, but he’ll never change his ways. Are you going to take out your disapproval on his children?” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

56.) “Wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

57.) “There’s something in our world that makes men lose their heads—they.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

58.) “Hold your head down and keep those fists down.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

59.) “In all his life, Jem had never declined a dare . I suppose he loved honor more than his head.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

60.) “As for me, I knew nothing except what I gathered from Time magazine and reading everything I could lay hands on at home.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird quotes that will make your day

61.) “Lawyers, I suppose were once children, too.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

62.) “That proves something—that a gang of wild animals can be stopped, simply because they’re still human.”― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

63.) “I willed myself to stay awake, but the rain was so soft and the room was so warm and his voice was so deep and his knee was so snug that I slept.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

64.) “The cold water embraced him like no woman ever could.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

65.) “Maybe he doesn’t have anywhere to run off to…” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

66.) “He told me havin’ a gun around’s an invitation to somebody to shoot you.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

67.) “…some people have more opportunity because they’re born with it…”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

68.) “It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

69.) “I can’t live one way in town and another way in my home.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

70.) “Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Which of these To Kill a Mockingbird quotes was your favorite?

“To Kill a Mockingbird” is standard reading for millions of young people. It has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide and has had a big impact on how people view and treat each other.

Each word written in the novel has a truly deep meaning to it. Hopefully, these quotes have inspired you to always believe in doing the right thing and being honest.

Which of these “To Kill a Mockingbird” quotes resonated with you best? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add to the list? Let us know in the comment section below. We would love to hear all about it.

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2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Beverly Denn

    August 25, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    Love all the quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird. It will forever by far the most important book I have ever read. SO many lessons. They picked all the best in the Acting world to play the roles in this movie. I remember as a child going to see this movie along with another movie ‘The Miracle Worker with Patty Duke playing Helen Keller. Two most meaningful and wonderful movies ever made.

  2. Avatar

    Sandra Saul

    December 6, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Definitely number 3/ you never know a person until…
    The quote is about hearing and seeing and human empathy I think of this often and it is humbling!

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