The only thing I'm afraid of about this country is that it's government will someday become so monstrous that the smallest person in it will be trampled underfoot, and then it wouldn't be worth living in. The only thing in America that is still unique in this tired world is that a man can go as far as his brains will take him or he can go to hell if he wants to, but it won't be that way much longer.
How could this be so, I wondered, as I read Mr. Underwood's editorial. Senseless killing--Tom had been given due process of law to the day of his death; he had been tried openly and convicted by twelve good men and true; my father had fought for him all the way. Then Mr. Underwood's meaning became clear: Atticus had used every tool available to free men to save Tom Robinson, but in the secret courts of men's hearts Atticus had no case. Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed.
There was nowhere to go, but I turned to go and met Atticus's vest front. I buried my head in it and listened to the small internal noises that went on behind the light blue cloth: his watch ticking, the faint crackle of his starched shirt, the soft sound of his breathing.'Your stomach's growling,' I said.'I know it,' he said.
I never expected any sort of success with 'Mockingbird'... I sort of hoped someone would like it enough to give me encouragement.
I mean it takes a certain kind of maturity to live in the South these days. You don't have it yet, but you have a shadow of the beginnings of it. You haven't the humbleness of mind-" "I thought the fear of the Lord was the beginning of wisdom.""It's the same thing. Humility.
...but before I can live with other folks, I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.
We saw Uncle Jack every Christmas, and every Christmas he yelled across the street for Miss Maudie to come marry him. Miss Mauide would yell back, "Call a little louder, Jack Finch, and they'll hear you the post office, I haven't heard you yet!" Jem and I thought this a strange way to ask for a lady's hand in marriage, but then again Uncle Jack was rather strange.
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, as learning to fasten the seat of my union suit without looking around, or achieving two bows from a snarl of shoelaces. I could not remember when the lines above Atticus's moving finger separated into words. But I had stared at them all the evenings in my memory, listening to the news of the day, Bills to Be Enacted into Laws, the diaries of Lorenzo Dow--anything Atticus happened to be reading when I crawled into his lap every night. Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.
...but before I can live with other folks, I've got to live with myself.The one thing that doesn't abide by mojority rule is a person's conscience.
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." .... "That's what I thought too," he said at last, "when I was your age. If there's just one kind of folks, why can't they get along with each other? If they're all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time . . . it's because he wants to stay inside.