What is a quote that shows the Maycomb value of honesty in To Kill A Mockingbird?

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readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a good question, but this is not an easy request. Most of the people of Maycomb are only fair to white people and not black people. So, if you are looking for a quote that shows that Maycomb is "color blind," there are few quotes. The best quote on this topic comes from Ms. Maudie.

After Tom Robinson is found guilty, Jem says it is not fair. He complains that no one is siding with Tom Robinson, who is obviously innocent. At this point, Ms. Maudie gives Jem a new perspective. She basically says that there is a group of people who side with Atticus. In fact, if Jem looked carefully, he could connect the dots:

“We’re the safest folks in the world,” said Miss Maudie. “We’re so rarely called on to be Christians, but when we are, we’ve got men like Atticus to go for us.” Jem grinned ruefully. “Wish the rest of the county thought that.” “You’d be surprised how many of us do.” “Who?” Jem’s voice rose. “Who in this town did one thing to help Tom Robinson, just who?” “His colored friends for one thing, and people like us. People like Judge Taylor. People like Mr. Heck Tate. Stop eating and start thinking, Jem. Did it ever strike you that Judge Taylor naming Atticus to defend that boy was no accident? That Judge Taylor might have had his reasons for naming him?”

Here is another example. At the end of the book, Heck Tate wants to protect Boo Radley. He says that Bob Ewell fell on his knife. He says this to keep Boo out of the public eye. Here is what he says:

“Mr. Finch,” Mr. Tate said stolidly, “Bob Ewell fell on his knife. He killed himself.”

There are good people, but Maycomb is not a place of honesty towards all. 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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