Nelle Harper Lee: In Loving Memory
“Mockingbird,” which was published in 1960, was drawn from elements of Lee’s childhood in Monroeville. In steady prose shaded by memory and lyricism, she describes how an impulsive girl, Scout Finch, her older brother, Jem, their friend Dill and a variety of other townspeople get caught up in the case of Tom Robinson, a black man who’s been accused of rape in the Depression-era town of Maycomb, Alabama.
Through it all, no character is more indelible than that of Scout’s widower father, Atticus Finch. The scrupulous, fair-minded lawyer who defends the falsely accused Robinson in a racist courtroom set a standard for goodness and bravery that still resonates more than 50 years later.
Here, we share some quotes from the more famous of her novels, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’:
”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.
”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 told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.
”Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.
”Things are never as bad as they seem.
”Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.
”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. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.
”People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.
”The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.
”I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks
The author lifted her hometown to global prominence, even as she personally pushed that prominence away. She was famous, and famously reclusive.
By the time she died at 89, everyone in Monroeville, from those too young to read to those too old to see, knew of her. But almost no one really knew her.
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