What are some important quotes by Jem and Scout Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Scout has many words of wisdom to express for such a young girl, though many of her observations come from a retrospective view as an adult. She senses the jury's verdict before it is announced.

... in a dream I saw the jury return, moving like underwater swimmers... I saw something only a lawyer's child could be expected to see... and it was like watching Atticus walk into the street, raise a rifle to his shoulder and pull the trigger, but watching all the time knowing the gun was empty.
     A jury never looks at a defendant it has convicted, and when this jury came in, not one of them looked at Tom Robinson.  (Chapter 21)

After Tom's death, she realizes that Atticus never had a chance of gaining an acquittal, since the jury had made up its mind before the trial even started.

... in the secret courts of men's hearts Atticus had no case. Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed.  (Chapter 25)

At the Missionary Circle tea, Scout observes the hypocrisy of the devout ladies of Maycomb, and decides that her Aunt Alexandra and Miss Maudie are the best of the bunch. After the two women return to the business of serving refreshments following the news of Tom's death, Scout is impressed.

     After all, if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I.  (Chapter 24)

As for Jem, his disappointment with the jury verdict makes him wonder if the people of Maycomb are as good as he once imagined. He can't understand why so many of the people "despise each other," and he comes to a conclusion:

"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."  (Chapter 23)

ladybug920's profile pic

ladybug920 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.
To Kill a Mockingbird
Scout, Chapter 2.