What are five quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird about perspective?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Following the incident outside of the Maycomb jailhouse, Atticus explains to his children mob mentality. He demonstrates his perspective by defending Walter Cunningham's character. Atticus says,

"Mr. Cunningham's basically a good man...he just has his blind spots along with the rest of us" (Lee 97).

In Chapter 20, Dolphus Raymond tells his secret to Scout and Dill. He then tells Scout that her father is different from most people in Maycomb. He demonstrates his perspective on society by telling Scout,

"Miss Jean Louise, you don't know your pa's not a run-of-the-mill man, it'll take a few years for that to sink in---you haven't seen enough of the world yet. You haven't even seen this town, but all you gotta do is step back inside the courthouse" (Lee 123).

In Chapter 23, Jem has a conversation with Scout about the different types of folks in Maycomb. Scout comments that she believes there is just one kind of folks, but Jem disagrees with her. He says,

"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" (Lee 139).

In Chapter 24, Atticus interrupts the missionary circle to tell Alexandra and Cal that Tom Robinson is dead. After Atticus explains that Tom was shot while he was attempting to escape, Alexandra says, "This is the last straw, Atticus" (Lee 144). Atticus urges her to look at the situation from a different perspective. He says,

"Depends on how you look at it...What was one Negro, more or less, among two hundred of 'em? He wasn't Tom to them, he was an escaping prisoner" (Lee 144). 

In Chapter 25, Scout reads Mr. Underwood's editorial. Mr. Underwood took a different perspective on Tom's murder than the other citizens of Maycomb. Scout mentions,

"He likened Tom's death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children..." (Lee 147). 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles


One of Atticus's first lessons to his children in the novel is delivered to Scout after her disappointing first day at school with Miss Caroline.

"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."  (Chapter 3)

Jem and Scout are amazed at Atticus's shooting skill, and they wonder why he has never bragged about it.

     "People in their right minds never take pride in their talents," said Miss Maudie.  (Chapter 10)

Tom explains why he ran away from the Ewell house, even though he was innocent.

     "Mr. Finch, if you was a nigger like me, you'd be scared, too."  (Chapter 19)

Scout decides that Sheriff Tate's decision to call Bob Ewell's death self-inflicted is a wise one, since it eliminates the possibility of Boo having to face a public trial.

     "Well, it'd be sort of like shootin' a mockingbird, wouldn't it?"  (Chapter 30)

After Scout walks Boo home, never to see him again, she looks upon her neighborhood from his porch, envisioning the scene as if standing in his shoes and looking through his eyes.

     Atticus was right. One time he said you never really knew a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.  (Chapter 31)

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial