What are some quotations that demonstrate Atticus's respect and care towards "colored" people in To Kill a Mockingbird?

1 Answer | Add Yours

Top Answer

bullgatortail's profile pic

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

Posted on

ATTICUS'S RESPECT OF NEGROES IN TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

The "N" Word.  Atticus warns Scout about her use of the "N" word, forbidding her from using it.

"Don't say nigger, Scout. That's common."
     " 's what everybody at school says."
     "From now on it'll be everybody less one--"  (Chapter 9)

Calpurnia.  Atticus is forced to defend his employment of his black housekeeper, Calpurnia, to both Scout and his sister, Alexandra.

"Calpurnia's not leaving this house until she wants to... She's a faithful member of this family...
"... she's never let them get away with anything, she's never indulged them the way most colored nurses do... the children love her."  (Chapter 14)

The Worst Thing You Can Do.  Atticus believes that the worse thing a white man can do is to cheat a black man.

"There's nothing more sickening to me than a low-grade white man who'll take advantage of a Negro's ignorance."  (Chapter 23)

In Defense of Tom Robinson.  Atticus realizes before the trial that he has little chance of winning, since no jury can be expected to take the word of a black man over a white man's word.

     "And so a quiet, respectable, humble Negro who had the unmitigated temerity to 'feel sorry' for a white woman has had to put his word against two white people's."  (Chapter 20)

Atticus calls it an "evil assumption" that

"... all Negroes lie, that all Negroes are basically immoral beings, that all Negro men are not to be trusted around our women..."  (Chapter 20) 

After the Trial.  When Tom's black friends show their gratitude for Atticus's staunch defense on the morning after the trial by sending him "enough food to bury the family," Atticus tells Calpurnia to

"Tell them I'm very grateful... Tell them--tell them they must never do this again. Times are too hard."  (Chapter 22) 

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,915 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question