Reverend Sykes Quotes

What are some quotes from Reverend Sykes in the book, To Kill a Mockingbird?

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 12, Calpurnia takes Jem and Scout to her church and Reverend Sykes makes an announcement to welcome them: 

“Brethren and sisters, we are particularly glad to have company with us this morning. Mister and Miss Finch. You all know their father. Before I begin I will read some announcements.” 

Other than Lula, Reverend Sykes and the other members of the congregation are welcoming to Jem and Scout. This is in the spirit of Christian generosity but they also have a lot of respect for Atticus. 

After they take the collection for Helen (Tom's wife), Reverend Sykes notes that they need more money. He even closes the doors in order to wait until they have enough: 

"You all know what it’s for—Helen can’t leave those children to work while Tom’s in jail. If everybody gives one more dime, we’ll have it—” 

During the trial, Jem, Scout, and Dill sit with Reverend Sykes and the black community in the balcony of the courtroom. When Tom Robinson stands up to reveal his crippled arm, he informs them of how Tom was injured. This is crucial to Atticus's case: 

“He got it caught in a cotton gin, caught it in Mr. Dolphus Raymond’s cotton gin when he was a boy… like to bled to death… tore all the muscles loose from his bones—” (Chapter 18)

Near the end of Chapter 21, Jem is quite confident that Atticus will win the case and Tom will be free. But Reverend Sykes has seen too many biased juries and he knows that racist thinking still prevails in many of the minds of Maycomb's citizens. He says to Jem: 

“Now don’t you be so confident, Mr. Jem, I ain’t ever seen any jury decide in favor of a colored man over a white man…” 

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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