What is an example of a life lesson quote that is useful in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An example of a quote that represents a life lesson is when Atticus explains to Scout that he is going to try and win the case even though he knows he’s going to lose.

"Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win," Atticus said. (ch 9)

This quote comes when Scout asks Atticus if he is going to win his case.  He tells her that he won’t.  She asks him why he is trying, and Atticus tells her this.

Keeping your motivation against seemingly impossible odds is a very important skill.  There are many times in life when we need to try, even though we are pretty sure we won’t succeed. Failure is a hundred percent guaranteed if you don’t try.

Even though Atticus lost the trial, he did make the people of Maycomb think very hard about racism.  So though Atticus lost the battle, he made a major step forward in winning the war.  If he had not tried, nothing at all would have changed.


mspfau eNotes educator| Certified Educator
  • "'First of all,' he said, 'if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks.  You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.'" (Atticus, page 30).
  • "Just hold your head high and keep those fists down.  No matter what anybody says to you, don't you let 'em get your goat.  Try fighting with your head for a change."  (Atticus, page 76).
  • "Atticus had said it was the polite thing to talk to people about what they were interested in, not about what you were interested in." (Scout, page 154).

I'm not sure what you mean by "useful," but I hope these are helpful!  I think they're pretty good lessons to live by, myself!

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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