One of my favorite minor characters in To Kill a Mockingbird is Scout's first grade classmate, Little Chuck Little. Scout obviously thinks highly of Little Chuck:
He was among the most diminutive of men... a born gentleman.
When Miss Caroline goes into hysterics over her first-ever glimpse of a "cootie"--a louse--it is Little Chuck who first tries to comfort her. But later, when Burris threatens his young teacher, Little Chuck steps up to defend her. When Burris turned from Miss Caroline to confront Little Chuck,
... Little Chuck's right hand went to his pocket. "Watch your step, Burris," he said. "I'd soon's kill you as look at you. Now go home."
Burris backed down from Little Chuck and his knife, but before Burris left, he called Miss Caroline a "snot-nosed slut of a schoolteacher." Afterward, Little Chuck joined the rest of his classmates trying to console their crying teacher.
It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived. ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 11
They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions... 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. ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 11, spoken by the character Atticus
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 you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 11, spoken by the character Atticus
She seemed glad to see me when I appeared in the kitchen, and by watching her I began to think there was some skill involved in being a girl. ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 12
So it took an eight-year-old child to bring 'em to their senses.... That proves something - that a gang of wild animals can be stopped, simply because they're still human. Hmp, maybe we need a police force of children. ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 16, spoken by the character Atticus
"I think I'll be a clown when I get grown," said Dill. "Yes, sir, a clown.... There ain't one thing in this world I can do about folks except laugh, so I'm gonna join the circus and laugh my head off." "You got it backwards, Dill," said Jem. "Clowns are sad, it's folks that laugh at them." "Well, I'm gonna be a new kind of clown. I'm gonna stand in the middle of the ring and laugh at the folks." ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 22