60+ Best Atticus Quotes: Exclusive Selection

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Atticus is a Canadian poet. His books The Dark Between Stars and The Truth About Magic became instant New York Times bestsellers. Powerful collection of profoundly inspirational Atticus quotes will challenge the way you think, change the way you live and transform your whole life.

If you’re searching for beautiful poetry quotes from famous poets that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of quotes from Langston Hughes, powerful Lord Byron quotes and famous Nikki Giovanni quotes.

Famous Atticus Quotes

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 through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.

Atticus says you can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family, an’ they’re still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge ’em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don’t.

Serving on a jury forces a man to make up his mind and declare himself about something. Men don’t like to do that. Sometimes it’s unpleasant.

Courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.

Atticus believes in justice and the justice system. He doesn’t like criminal law, yet he accepts the appointment to Tom Robinson’s case. He knows before he begins that he’s going to lose this case, but that doesn’t stop him from giving Tom the strongest defense he possibly can. And, importantly, Atticus doesn’t put so much effort into Tom’s case because he’s an African American, but because he is innocent. Atticus feels that the justice system should be color blind, and he defends Tom as an innocent man, not a man of color.

Best way to clear the air is to have it all out in the open.

Atticus quotes

You children made Walter Cunningham stand in my shoes for a minute. That was enough.

Jen and I were accustomed to our father’s last-will-and-testament diction, and were at times free to interrupt Atticus for a translation when it was beyond our understanding.

I suggested that one could be a ray of sunshine in pants just as well, but Aunty said that one had to behave like a sunbeam, that I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year. She hurt my feelings and set my teeth permanently on edge, but when I asked Atticus about it, he said there were already enough sunbeams in the family and to go on about my business, he didn’t mind me much the way I was.

I do my best to love everybody.

Before Jem looks at anyone else he looks at me, and I’ve tried to live so I can look squarely back at him.

This time we aren’t fighting the Yankees, we’re fighting our friends. But remember this, no matter how bitter things get, they’re still our friends and this is still our home.

Scout, simply by the nature of the work, every lawyer gets at least one case in his lifetime that affects him personally. This one’s mine, I guess. You might hear some ugly talk about it at school, but do one thing for me if you will: you just hold your head high and keep those fists down.

It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.

As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it – whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.

No, everybody’s gotta learn, nobody’s born knowin’. That Walter’s as smart as he can be, he just gets held back sometimes because he has to stay out and help his daddy. Nothin’s wrong with him. Naw, Jem, I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.

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.

Atticus, he was real nice… His hands were under my chin, pulling up the cover, tucking it around me. Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.

Inspirational Atticus Quotes

The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.

sometimes we have to make the best of things, and the way we conduct ourselves when the chips are down—well, all I can say is, when you and Jem are grown, maybe you’ll look back on this with some compassion and some feeling that I didn’t let you down.

It’s not time to worry yet…

Jem, see if you can stand in Bob Ewell’s shoes a minute. I destroyed his last shred of credibility at that trial, if he had any to begin with. The man had to have some kind of comeback, his kind always does. So if spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayella Ewell one extra beating, that’s something I’ll gladly take.

The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box.

Iif I connived at something like this, frankly I couldn’t meet his eye, and the day I can’t do that I’ll know I’ve lost him. I don’t want to lose him and Scout, because they’re all I’ve got.

That was the one thing that made me think, well, this may be the shadow of a beginning. That jury took a few hours. An inevitable verdict, maybe, but usually it takes ‘em just a few minutes.

There’s a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep ‘em all away from you. That’s never possible.

Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.

Before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself.

Our courts have their faults as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal.

So it took an eight-year-old child to bring ‘em to their senses…That proves something – that a gang of wild animals can be stopped, simply because they’re still human. Hmp, maybe we need a police force of children.

I despise you and everything you stand for.

No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let ‘em get your goat.

You are too young to understand it,” she said, but sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whiskey bottle in the hand of—oh, of your father.

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.

The only remedy for this is not to let it beat you.

There’s nothing more sickening to me than a low-grade white man who’ll take advantage of a Negro’s ignorance. Don’t fool yourselves—it’s all adding up and one of these days we’re going to pay the bill for it. I hope it’s not in you children’s time.

Well, most folks seem to think they’re right and you’re wrong …

But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal- there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court. It can be the Supreme Court of the United States or the humblest JP court in the land, or this honorable court which you serve.

If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks.

Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.

Link, that boy might go to the chair, but he’s not going till the truth’s told. And you know what the truth is.

As you say, Jean Louise, there’s only one thing higher than the Court in this country, and that’s the Constitution.

What I meant was, if Atticus Finch drank until he was drunk he wouldn’t be as hard as some men are at their best. There are just some kind of men who-who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.

Judge not my passion, by my want of skill, Many love well, though they express it ill.

Atticus had said it was the polite thing to talk to people about what they were interested in, not about what you were interested in.

He’s the same in the court-room as he is on the public streets.

But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men. There is not a person in this courtroom who has never told a lie, who has never done an immoral thing, and there is no man living who has never looked upon a woman without desire.

Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand.

Don’t pay any attention to her, just hold your head high and be a gentleman.

Are you proud of yourself tonight that you have insulted a total stranger whose circumstances you know nothing about?

Try fighting with your head for a change…it’s a good one, even if it does resist learning.

There are some men in this world who are born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father’s one of them.

How could they do it, how could they? I don’t know, but they did it. They’ve done it before and they did it tonight and they’ll do it again and when they do it—seems that only children weep.

When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness’ sake. But don’t make a production of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion quicker than adults, and evasion simply muddles ‘em.

Those are twelve reasonable men in everyday life, Tom’s jury, but you saw something come between them and reason. You saw the same thing that night in front of the jail. When that crew went away, they didn’t go as reasonable men, they went because we were there. There’s something in our world that makes men lose their heads—they couldn’t be fair if they tried.

Atticus has instilled in his children his strong sense of morality and justice. He is one of the few residents of Maycomb committed to racial equality.

Boo Radley. You were so busy looking at the fire you didn’t know it when he put the blanket around you.

They’re ugly, but those are the facts of life.

Bad language is a stage all children go through, and it dies with time when they learn they’re not attracting attention with it.

Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.

It is not enough to limit your love to your own nation, to your own group. You must respond with love even to those outside of it. . . . This concept enables people to live together not as nations, but as the human race.

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