To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 30 Quotes Page 1

How we cite the quotes:
(chapter.paragraph)
Quote 1

"I'm not a very good man, sir, but I am sheriff of Maycomb County. Lived in this town all my life an' I'm goin' on forty-three years old. Know everything that's happened here since before I was born. There's a black boy dead for no reason, and the man responsible for it's dead. Let the dead bury the dead this time, Mr. Finch. Let the dead bury the dead." (30.60)

Heck Tate may be sheriff, but he's not 100% committed to the letter of the law. Is his approach actually more just, here? Could Atticus actually be wrong for once?

Quote 2

"Heck," Atticus's back was turned. "If this thing's hushed up it'll be a simple denial to Jem of the way I've tried to raise him. Sometimes I think I'm a total failure as a parent, but I'm all they've got. Before Jem looks at anyone else he looks at me, and I've tried to live so I can look squarely back at him... if 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." (30.37)

Here's a new way of looking at parenting: instead of telling your kids not to embarrass you, how about trying not to embarrass your kids? Only, we're not talking about retiring your mom jeans or putting your cellphone in your pocket instead of clipping it to your belt. We're talking about living an upright, honest, and moral lifeā€”and that's a lot harder.

Quote 3

"Heck," Atticus's back was turned. "If this thing's hushed up it'll be a simple denial to Jem of the way I've tried to raise him. Sometimes I think I'm a total failure as a parent, but I'm all they've got. Before Jem looks at anyone else he looks at me, and I've tried to live so I can look squarely back at him... if 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." (30.37)

Talk about upsetting the social order: Atticus seems much less concerned with judging his children (as opposed to, say, Bob Ewell) than with how they might judge him. How dependent is Atticus's good behavior on his children? Would he behave differently if they didn't exist? If not, why does he so often refer to them when he's trying to explain to others why he acts like he does?

Next Page: Chapter 31 Quotes
Previous Page: Chapter 28 Quotes

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