To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 9 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
"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." (9.27)
If you're engaged in bitter warfare with someone, can you still be their friend at the same time? (Duh. That's why the word "frenemy" was invented.) But seriously—Atticus would say, sure can. You continue to treat them with a friend's respect, and you remember that they're part of a larger community that stays whole even if its parts are pulling in different directions.
"If Uncle Atticus lets you run around with stray dogs, that's his own business, like Grandma says, so it ain't your fault. I guess it ain't your fault if Uncle Atticus is a nigger-lover besides, but I'm here to tell you it certainly does mortify the rest of the family-"
"Francis, what the hell do you mean?"
"Just what I said. Grandma says it's bad enough he lets you all run wild, but now he's turned out a nigger-lover we'll never be able to walk the streets of Maycomb agin. He's ruinin' the family, that's what he's doin'." (9.96-98)
Family: the world's oldest excuse for telling people what to do. There's no real reason why Atticus's behavior should reflect on anyone but himself and perhaps the parents who raised him, but Aunt Alexandra seems to think it's her business, too. To be fair, given Maycomb's obsession with family, she has a point.