February 19, 2016

A Collection of Quotes from the Cherished Writer, Harper Lee.


“The book to read is not the one that thinks for you but the one which makes you think.” ~ Harper Lee

Sadly, Alabama’s legendary and beloved writer Harper Lee, author the classic novel To Kill A Mockingbird, has passed away aged 89 years.

To Kill a Mockingbird, which was published 60 years ago, sold in excess of 40 million copies and is one of the most treasured books in modern history. The book was an immediate success and won the Pulitzer Prize the following year. It went on to become one of the most loved and most taught books in American history.

Spencer Madrie, owner of Ol’ Curiosities and Book Shoppe in Monroeville, which specialises in Lee’s works, said she had heard that Lee had passed away through numerous people in and around the town. Madrie wrote a tribute to Lee on her website saying,

“We will remember Harper Lee for her candor, her talent and the truths she gave the world, perhaps before the world was ready. We are grateful to have had a connection to an author who offered so much. There will always be something missing from Monroeville and the world at large in the absence of Harper Lee.”

Lee, who chose to live a quiet life out of media’s spotlight, passed away in the town she was born in, Monroeville, Alabama.

Below is a collection of my favourite quotes from her profound book that I cherish and learned so much from. I have it read over and over and will read it many times more as each time I do, I learn a little more.


“Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”

“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.”

“A man can condemn his enemies, but it’s wiser to know them.”

“I was taught never to take advantage of anybody who was less fortunate than myself, whether he be less fortunate in brains, wealth, or social position; it meant anybody…”

“As you grow up, always tell the truth, do no harm to others, and don’t think you are the most important being on earth. Rich or poor, you then can look anyone in the eye and say, ‘I’m probably no better than you, but I’m certainly your equal.”

“It’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.”

“As sure as time, history is repeating itself, and as sure as man is man, history is the last place he’ll look for his lessons.”

“Atticus, he was real nice.”  “Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.”

“People don’t like to have somebody knowing more than they do. It aggravates them.”

“But a man who has lived by truth—and you have believed in what he has lived—he does not leave you merely wary when he fails you, he leaves you with nothing. I think that is why I’m nearly out of my mind.”  ~ Go Set A Watchman

“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

“Don’t you study about other folks’s business till you take care of your own.”

“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 see it through no matter what.”

“You see they could never, never understand that I live like I do because that’s the way I want to live.”

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”


Author: Alex Myles

Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Wikipedia

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