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Looking for a book called to kill a mockingbird

On the one hand, these lines show that Scout is learning the community shares a set of values. Ultimately, the mockingbird is a symbol of goodness and hope, so this passage teaches readers about the difference between good and evil. The mockingbird and what it represents is "good," and killing it—or, rather, destroying innocence—is evil.

As Scout learns these values, she grows out of her childhood and into the shared society of Maycomb, her town. The technical name for this type of story is a bildungsroman , which is German for "education novel," but usually we just call them coming-of-age stories. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view To Kill a Mockingbird explores why racism exists and how we can counteract it.

Throughout the book, we watch Scout take this lesson to heart as she tries to empathize with the perspectives of a diverse set of people in her community.

To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 12 Summary

You know, she was a great lady. His face was scarlet. She had her own views about things, a lot different from mine, maybe I wanted you to see something about her—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. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. Dubose won, all ninety-eight pounds of her.

According to her views, she died beholden to nothing and nobody. She was the bravest person I ever knew. Initially she is racist and harsh, which terrifies Scout and Jem, but Atticus admires her because she lived "according to her views.

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Atticus tries throughout the book to give Jem an alternative way of being courageous—and, consequently, an alternative way of being a good man. Atticus tries to show Jem that he can be brave simply by pursuing what he believes is right, even though he might ultimately fail. This quote teaches us that being a moral person can be courageous in itself. What makes Atticus such a moral character is his tendency to follow his own instincts regarding what is right or wrong, rather than following the customs of his community. Because he is a very visible political figure in town, this characteristic sometimes makes him unpopular.

The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box. Whereas many of the townspeople believe that white people are superior to black people, Atticus believes all people should have equal representation in a court of law. In other words, Atticus takes a bold stance against racism. Furthermore, he states that a white man who uses his privilege to cheat a black man is, in fact, inferior to that black man.

One of the most appealing aspects of To Kill a Mockingbird is that it gives us insight into what it means to be a family. That institution, gentlemen, is a court. Our courts have their faults, as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal. Here, we have another of the Atticus quotes in which he states that the goals of the courtroom, which are to create a just and equal society, are more important than the limitations of the local community; thus, they should not be subject to the same prejudices.

Atticus is bold in these public assertions, which puts him in conflict with some of the other people in Maycomb. Atticus, he was real nice Although Atticus is morally in conflict with the culture of Maycomb for much of the book, he is driven by the belief that everyone is, at heart, a decent person. He understands that his fellow townspeople are sometimes driven by the pressure to conform to social customs rather than their own sense of right and wrong. Atticus seems to believe that if everyone were to follow their ethical instincts, they would choose to behave in a way that is moral, and this is the lesson he consistently tries to instill in Scout.

Walter Cunningham, Jr. 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. Try fighting with your head for a change In this To Kill a Mockingbird quote, Atticus is telling Scout how to behave with honor in the face of adversity. As someone who cares deeply about his family, Atticus tries to prepare them for the backlash; however, he also teaches them that there is dignity in defeat, so long as one follows their best ethical judgment.

The fact that Scout is receiving life lessons from an African American woman who is treated not only as an equal but also as a member of the family is an example of how different the Finches are from most of the other townsfolk. It also shows readers who might have their own prejudices that people who are different from them are still people —and they deserve to be treated as equals and with kindness. This is one of the lesser-known Atticus Finch quotes, but it's still an important one. This quote shows how Atticus treats his children as if they are as intelligent as adults in this case, as if they are perhaps more intelligent than adults.

Atticus always treats everyone with respect and is very insightful in his views of human behavior, and this quote reveals his thoughts on parenting.

He never claims authority over his children but rather leads by example, treating them more as peers than as kids. The fact that his children call him by his first name, Atticus, shows that they consider themselves on equal footing with him as well. One is that this is yet another example of his influence over his children. His opinions inform theirs throughout the whole book.

Another, more important, aspect of Atticus that this comment reveals is his straightforward moral sensibility. You can apply this to his decision to defend Tom Robinson. After deleting the adjective "black," Tom Robinson is no longer a "black man" but simply a man, which is the fact that guides the way Atticus treats and represents Tom. Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire. 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.

Although all the characters in the book are more or less devout Christians, many of them do not behave as such. These people often act with prejudice, malice, and fear. In this quotation, Miss Maudie is correct that many of the most dangerous people in the town are the most devout. Atticus is once again held up to a high standard of behavior.

I mumbled that I was sorry and retired meditating upon my crime. I never deliberately learned to read, but somehow I had been wallowing illicitly in the daily papers. In the long hours of church—was it then I learned? I could not remember not being able to read hymns. Now that I was compelled to think about it, reading was something that just came to me Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing. In this passage, Scout has been discouraged from reading by her teacher, Miss Caroline, who disapproves of Atticus having already taught Scout to read.

As this quote illustrates, Scout considers reading to not only be a pleasure in itself, but also a major aspect of her relationship with her father and an essential aspect of her identity as essential as breathing. The fact that Atticus would share with a child as young as Scout such mature reading material reveals the respect he afforded her. Summer was on the way; Jem and I awaited it with impatience. Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape; but most of all, summer was Dill.

Summer is also the time that the rebellious Scout is free from the social pressures of school — is able to pursue her own interests and behave how she wishes. Summer symbolizes freedom and adventure for Scout, as it still does for many American students today! I did not miss her, but I think Jem did. He remembered her clearly, and sometimes in the middle of a game he would sigh at length, then go off and play by himself behind the car-house.

When he was like that, I knew better than to bother him. When I was almost six and Jem was nearly ten, our summertime boundaries within calling distance of Calpurnia were Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose's house two doors to the north of us, and the Radley Place three doors to the south.

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We were never tempted to break them. The Radley Place was inhabited by an unknown entity the mere description of whom was enough to make us behave for days on end; Mrs. Dubose was plain hell. That was the summer Dill came to us. Early one morning as we were beginning our day's play in the back yard , Jem and I heard something next door in Miss Rachel Haverford's collard patch. We went to the wire fence to see if there was a puppy- Miss Rachel's rat terrier was expecting- instead we found someone sitting looking at us.

Sitting down, he wasn't much higher than the collards. We stared at him until he spoke: "Hey. You got anything needs readin' I can do it You look right puny for goin' on seven. Jem brushed his hair back to get a better look. Aunt Rachel says your name's Jeremy Atticus Finch. Bet it's a foot longer. Where'd you come from?

Dill was from Meridian, Mississippi, was spending the summer with his aunt, Miss Rachel, and would be spending every summer in Maycomb from now on. His family was from Maycomb County originally, his mother worked for a photographer in Meridian, had entered his picture in a Beautiful Child contest and won five dollars. She gave the money to Dill, who went to the picture show twenty times on it.

Dill was a curiosity. He wore blue linen shorts that buttoned to his shirt, his hair was snow white and stuck to his head like duckfluff; he was a year my senior but I towered over him. As he told us the old tale his blue eyes would lighten and darken; his laugh was sudden and happy; he habitually pulled at a cowlick in the center of his forehead. When Dill reduced Dracula to dust , and Jem said the show sounded better than the book, I asked Dill where his father was: "You ain't said anything about him. Thereafter the summer passed in routine contentment. Routine contentment was: improving our treehouse that rested between giant twin chinaberry trees in the back yard, fussing, running through our list of dramas based on the works of Oliver Optic, Victor Appleton, and Edgar Rice Burroughs.

In this matter we were lucky to have Dill. Damon in Tom Swift. But by the end of August our repertoire was vapid from countless reproductions , and it was then that Dill gave us the idea of making Boo Radley come out. The Radley Place fascinated Dill. In spite of our warnings and explanations it drew him as the moon draws water, but drew him no nearer than the light-pole on the corner, a safe distance from the Radley gate.

There he would stand, his arm around the fat pole, staring and wondering. The Radley Place jutted into a sharp curve beyond our house. Walking south, one faced its porch; the sidewalk turned and ran beside the lot. The house was low, was once white with a deep front porch and green shutters, but had long ago darkened to the color of the slate-gray yard around it. Rain-rotted shingles drooped over the eaves of the veranda; oak trees kept the sun away. The remains of a picket drunkenly guarded the front yard- a "swept" yard that was never swept-where johnson grass and rabbit-tobacco grew in abundance.

Inside the house lived a malevolent phantom. People said he existed, but Jem and I had never seen him. People said he went out at night when the moon was down, and peeped in windows. When people's azaleas froze in a cold snap, it was because he had breathed on them. Any stealthy small crimes committed in Maycomb were his work. Once the town was terrorized by a series of morbid nocturnal events : people's chickens and household pets were found mutilated ; although the culprit was Crazy Addie, who eventually drowned himself in Barker's Eddy, people still looked at the Radley Place, unwilling to discard their initial suspicions.

A Negro would not pass the Radley Place at night, he would cut across to the sidewalk opposite and whistle as he walked. The Maycomb school grounds adjoined the back of the Radley lot; from the Radley chickenyard tall pecan trees shook their fruit into the schoolyard, but the nuts lay untouched by the children: Radley pecans would kill you. A baseball hit into the Radley yard was a lost ball and no questions asked.

The misery of that house began many years before Jem and I were born. The Radleys, welcome anywhere in town, kept to themselves, a predilection unforgivable in Maycomb. They did not go to church, Maycomb's principal recreation, but worshiped at home; Mrs. Radley seldom if ever crossed the street for a mid-morning coffee break with her neighbors, and certainly never joined a missionary circle. Radley walked to town at eleven-thirty every morning and came back promptly at twelve, sometimes carrying a brown paper bag that the neighborhood assumed contained the family groceries.

I never knew how old Mr. Radley made his living- Jem said he "bought cotton," a polite term for doing nothing- but Mr. Radley and his wife had lived there with their two sons as long as anybody could remember. The shutters and doors of the Radley house were closed on Sundays, another thing alien to Maycomb's ways: closed doors meant illness and cold weather only.

Of all days Sunday was the day for formal afternoon visiting: ladies wore corsets, men wore coats, children wore shoes. But to climb the Radley front steps and call, "He-y," of a Sunday afternoon was something their neighbors never did. The Radley house had no screen doors. I once asked Atticus if it ever had any; Atticus said yes, but before I was born. According to neighborhood legend, when the younger Radley boy was in his teens he became acquainted with some of the Cunninghams from Old Sarum, an enormous and confusing tribe domiciled in the northern part of the county, and they formed the nearest thing to a gang ever seen in Maycomb.

Nobody in Maycomb had nerve enough to tell Mr. Radley that his boy was in with the wrong crowd. One night, in an excessive spurt of high spirits, the boys backed around the square in a borrowed flivver, resisted arrest by Maycomb's ancient beadle, Mr.

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What Does It Mean “To Kill a Mockingbird”?

Conner, and locked him in the courthouse outhouse. The town decided something had to be done; Mr. Conner said he knew who each and every one of them was, and he was bound and determined they wouldn't get away with it, so the boys came before the probate judge on charges of disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, assault and battery, and using abusive and profane language in the presence and hearing of a female. The judge asked Mr. Conner why he included the last charge; Mr. Conner said they cussed so loud he was sure every lady in Maycomb heard them.

The judge decided to send the boys to the state industrial school, where boys were sometimes sent for no other reason than to provide them with food and decent shelter: it was no prison and it was no disgrace. Radley thought it was. If the judge released Arthur, Mr. Radley would see to it that Arthur gave no further trouble. Knowing that Mr. Radley's word was his bond, the judge was glad to do so. The other boys attended the industrial school and received the best secondary education to be had in the state; one of them eventually worked his way through engineering school at Auburn.

The doors of the Radley house were closed on weekdays as well as Sundays, and Mr.

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Radley's boy was not seen again for fifteen years. But there came a day, barely within Jem's memory, when Boo Radley was heard from and was seen by several people, but not by Jem. He said Atticus never talked much about the Radleys: when Jem would question him Atticus's only answer was for him to mind his own business and let the Radleys mind theirs, they had a right to; but when it happened Jem said Atticus shook his head and said, "Mm, mm, mm. His father entered the room. As Mr. Radley passed by, Boo drove the scissors into his parent's leg, pulled them out, wiped them on his pants, and resumed his activities.

Radley ran screaming into the street that Arthur was killing them all, but when the sheriff arrived he found Boo still sitting in the livingroom, cutting up the Tribune. He was thirty-three years old then. Miss Stephanie said old Mr. Radley said no Radley was going to any asylum, when it was suggested that a season in Tuscaloosa might be helpful to Boo.

To Kill a Mockingbird - Chapter 1

Boo wasn't crazy, he was high-strung at times. It was all right to shut him up, Mr. Radley conceded , but insisted that Boo not be charged with anything: he was not a criminal. The sheriff hadn't the heart to put him in jail alongside Negroes, so Boo was locked in the courthouse basement. Boo's transition from the basement to back home was nebulous in Jem's memory.

Miss Stephanie Crawford said some of the town council told Mr. Radley that if he didn't take Boo back, Boo would die of mold from the damp. Besides, Boo could not live forever on the bounty of the county. Nobody knew what form of intimidation Mr. Radley employed to keep Boo out of sight, but Jem figured that Mr. Radley kept him chained to the bed most of the time. Atticus said no, it wasn't that sort of thing, that there were other ways of making people into ghosts. My memory came alive to see Mrs. Radley occasionally open the front door, walk to the edge of the porch, and pour water on her cannas.

But every day Jem and I would see Mr. Radley walking to and from town. He was a thin leathery man with colorless eyes, so colorless they did not reflect light. His cheekbones were sharp and his mouth was wide, with a thin upper lip and a full lower lip. Miss Stephanie Crawford said he was so upright he took the word of God as his only law, and we believed her, because Mr.

Radley's posture was ramrod straight. He never spoke to us. When he passed we would look at the ground and say, "Good morning, sir," and he would cough in reply. Radley's elder son lived in Pensacola ; he came home at Christmas, and he was one of the few persons we ever saw enter or leave the place. From the day Mr. Radley took Arthur home, people said the house died.

But there came a day when Atticus told us he'd wear us out if we made any noise in the yard and commissioned Calpurnia to serve in his absence if she heard a sound out of us. Radley was dying. He took his time about it.


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