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Two of the most famous quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird come as words of wisdom by Atticus. One concerns his lesson of tolerance that he teaches to Scout, who has had a disastrous first day of school. Atticus tells her that
"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."
Atticus also teaches the children about compassion for the innocent--both human and animal--through his advice about unnecessary gunplay.
"Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."
Atticus stresses education to his children, and he reads to Scout every night--even if it means doing so behind the back of her first grade teacher, Miss Caroline.
"If you'll concede the necessity of going to school, we'll go on reading every night just as we always have. Is it a bargain?"
He also lets his children know when they have been rude to their elders, as in the case of Scout's talking back to her Aunt Alexandra. When Scout asks her father if it is okay to visit Calpurnia at her home in the Quarters that Sunday, Alexandra tells her that
"You may not."
... I wheeled around, startled... I said, "I didn't ask you!"
For a big man, Atticus could get up and down from a chair faster than anybody I ever knew. He was on his feet. "Apologize to your aunt," he said...
Atticus turned his head and pinned me to the wall with his good eye. His voice was deadly...
"Now then, let's get this clear. You do as Calpurnia tells you, you do as I tell you, and as long as your aunt's in this house, you will do as she tells you. Understand?
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