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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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To Kill A Mockingbird Chapter 12 Quotes

What are five important quotes from Chapters 12 and 13 of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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1. Shortly after entering First Purchase African M.E. Church, one of the prejudiced members questions Calpurnia about bringing Jem and Scout. Lula asks,

"I wants to know why you bringin‘ white chillun to nigger church." (Lee, 120)

2. Following the sermon, Scout asks several questions concerning the Robinson family and Tom's upcoming case. After Cal attempts to explain why Tom is on trial, Scout says, 

"Well, if everybody in Maycomb knows what kind of folks the Ewells are they’d be glad to hire Helen . . . what’s rape, Cal?" (125)

3. Jem finds it fascinating that Calpurnia lives a "modest double life" and asks why she speaks informally around her community members when she knows that it isn't right. Calpurnia responds by saying,

"Suppose you and Scout talked colored-folks’ talk at home it’d be out of place, wouldn’t it? Now what if I talked white-folks’ talk at church, and with my neighbors? They’d think I was puttin‘ on airs to beat Moses." (127)

4. In chapter 13, Aunt Alexandra moves into the Finch household and Scout attempts to describe her aunt. Scout mentions that Alexandra is obsessed with heredity and judges individuals based on the families they come from. Scout mentions that according to Aunt Alexandra,

Everybody in Maycomb, it seemed, had a Streak: a Drinking Streak, a Gambling Streak, a Mean Streak, a Funny Streak. (131)

5. Towards the end of chapter 13, Aunt Alexandra convinces her brother to give his children a lesson regarding their family history. Atticus attempts to act serious and tells Jem and Scout,

"Your aunt has asked me to try and impress upon you and Jean Louise that you are not from run-of-the-mill people, that you are the product of several generations’ gentle breeding . . . " (134)

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Scout in Love.  Dill has sent Scout a message: He will not be arriving in Maycomb this summer, and Scout is heartbroken that her "permanent fiance" is not there.

... summer was Dill... summer was the swiftness with which Dill would reach up and kiss me when Jem was not looking, the longings we sometimes felt for each other. With him, life was routine; without him, life was unbearable.  (Chapter 12)

First Purchase Church.  Maycomb's black citizens can never completely escape the dominance of the white man. Even their place of faith is compromised. Located in the black section of town known as the Quarters,

     Negroes worhipped in it on Sundays and white men gambled in it on weekdays.  (Chapter 12)

Calpurnia's Black and White Worlds.  Jem and Scout had only seen one side of Cal--that of the faithful Finch housekeeper. But they soon saw a different Cal when they accompanied her to church services in the Quarters.

     That Calpurnia led a modest double life never dawned on me. The idea that she had a separate existence outside our household was a novel one, to say nothing of her having command of two languages.  (Chapter 12)

Aunt Alexandra.  Alexandra's permanent visit was not entirely welcomed by everyone in town.

     Aunt Alexandra fitted into the world of Maycomb like a hand into a glove, but never into the world of Jem and me.  (Chapter 13)

Gentle Breeding.  Aunt Alexandra is a fanatic about family heritage and she badgers Atticus into explaining the importance of "gentle breeding" to the children. But when Scout is reduced to tears during his lecture, Atticus tells them to "Forget it."

     I know now what he was trying to do, but Atticus was only a man. It takes a woman to do that kind of work.  (Chapter 13)

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