Please provide quotations about religion in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Expert Answers
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are several references to religion in the book.  Religion is a backdrop for everything that takes place.  There are several instances of outright conflict between religions, such as Miss Maudie’s regular confrontation with the Baptists.

Miss Maudie said: “Foot-washers believe anything that’s pleasure is a sin. Did you know some of ‘em came out of the woods one Saturday and passed by this place and told me me and my flowers were going to hell. ( Chapter 5)

Miss Maudie's view of God differs greatly, as she believes that flowers are beautiful things.

There are instances where religions co-mingle, such as the football game and the ladies' social.  They are just not quite comfortable with each other.

It was customary for every circle hostess to invite her neighbors in for refreshments, be they Baptists or Presbyterians, which accounted for the presence of Miss Rachel (sober as a judge), Miss Maudie and Miss Stephanie Crawford. (Chapter 24)

There is also conflict between Blacks and Whites, as they attend different churches.  When Calpurnia brings the children to her church, some disagree.

Lula stopped, but she said, “You ain’t got no business bringin‘ white chillun here —they got their church, we got our’n. It is our church, ain’t it, Miss Cal?”

Calpurnia said, “It’s the same God, ain’t it?” (Chapter 12)

 Calpurnia’s statement shows that she believes that differences in religion, and differences in race, are secondary.

 Religion is a part of life in Maycomb.  When Atticus explains why he needs to defend Tom Robinsons, he puts his ethical views in terms of religion.

 This case, Tom Robinson’s case, is something that goes to the essence of a man’s conscience—Scout, I couldn’t go to church and worship God if I didn’t try to help that man.” (Chapter 11)

 Atticus also invokes God’s name strongly during the trial, in his closing arguments.

 I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this defendant to his family. In the name of God, do your duty.” (Chapter 20)

 Atticus has provided the town with a moral education.  He has shown that it is important to stand up for what you believe in, and that looking down on someone for the color of his or her skin is wrong.  In this statement to the jury, he is calling on them to consider their religious and moral beliefs and make the right choice.  Although they don’t, the fact that they do deliberate is proof that advancements have been made.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question