What are some quotes in To Kill a Mockingbird about not judging someone before you get to know them?

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

MISS CAROLINE.  Scout's teacher unwisely judges Atticus without ever having met the man, telling Scout that "your father does not know how to teach." It's such a bad first day at school that Scout doesn't want to go back. But Atticus makes a "bargain" with her: She will go back to school and Atticus will continue to read to her each night. He also offers her some good advice, a "simple trick" to getting along with people.

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view--... until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.  (Chapter 3)

MISS STEPHANIE.  Jem and Scout get most of their information about Boo Radley from Miss Stephanie Crawford, the neighborhood gossip. Miss Maudie warns Scout not to judge Boo from the stories that she hears about town. She tells Scout that Boo "always spoke nicely to me" when he was younger, and that the Maycomb gossip

"... is three-fourths colored folks and one-fourth Stephanie Crawford."  (Chapter 5

BOO RADLEY.  Scout spends much of the novel fantasizing about meeting Boo. She no longer believes that he "dined on raw squirrels" or had bloodstained hands. She almost meets him the night Boo places the blanket upon her shoulders, and she "imagines" exchanging greetings with him as she sits on her porch swing. At the end of the novel, Scout gets to meet Boo: He is now her hero, having saved her life after the attack by Bob Ewell. She has remembered Atticus's advice about it being "a sin to kill a mockingbird," and she equates the innocence of the bird with Boo. She agrees with Sheriff Tate's decision to keep Boo out of the local "limelight."

"... it'd be sort of like shootin' a mockingbird, wouldn't it?"  (Chapter 30)

Later that night, when Scout is looking out upon her neighborhood from the Radley porch, she sees it in a new light--from how Boo may have seen it through his own eyes.

I had never seen our neighborhood from this angle... Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.  (Chapter 31)

MRS. DUBOSE.  Atticus makes Jem read to the terminally ill neighbor as punishment for nearly destroying her prize camellias. The children "hated" her, believing the old lady to be "vicious" and "ruthless." Atticus wants his son to see her other side.

"I wanted you to see something about her--I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it though no matter what.  (Chapter 11)

marzenadziura | Student

“I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks.”

This quote is simple and to the point. It reminds us that everyone is human. We are all people, no matter what color we are, where we are from, how much money we make, etc.

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

This quote reminds us to really think about a person's situation before we make judgement. People should remember that they don't know what a person may be going through and why they are going through it.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question