To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird Jean Louise Finch (Scout) Quotes
I learned more about the poor Mrunas' social life from listening to Mrs. Merriweather: they had so little sense of family that the whole tribe was one big family. A child had as many fathers as there were men in the community, as many mothers as there were women. J. Grimes Everett was doing his utmost to change this state of affairs, and desperately needed our prayers. (27.18)
What's so wrong with this picture of Mruna social life? Apparently it works for them, right? Nope. Major problem: it doesn't involve putting people into neat little categories.
"Atticus, you must be wrong...."
"Well, most folks seem to think they're right and you're wrong...."
"They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions," said Atticus, "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." (11.54-57)
Democracy may determine how a group will act, but it can't control what a person thinks: the jury can vote to find Tom guilty, but it can't make everyone in Maycomb believe that he is. (But you think that makes him feel any better?)