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A collection of Harper Lee’s quotes and sayings on books, writing, point of view, advice, conscience, majority, childhood, success, courage, death etc.

98 Powerful Harper Lee Quotes That You Will Never Forget

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Harper Lee was an American novelist, famous for her work in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, which went on to become a classic of modern American Literature. Her work was basically based on fiction, drama, mystery and inspired from observations made from family and neighbors in her hometown. Her novels often highlighted the irrationalities of adult attitudes towards different castes, creed and races. She was awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for her bestseller ‘Go Set a Watchman’. Her writing style focused on narrative brilliance, visual art, and seamless transition into another scene. Another aspect in which she tried to throw light on was the prevalent injustice due to racism in the era she lived in. Even though she brought up bold discussions on issues such as rape, racial slur and profanity, her novels became quite a sensation, with wide acceptance by critics, editorials and tabloids. We have excerpted Harper Lee’s books, writings and life. Browse through some of Harper Lee’s quotes on books, writing, point of view, advice, conscience, majority, childhood, success, courage, death etc.

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.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

With him, life was routine; without him, life was unbearable.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don't you let 'em get your goat. Try fightin' with your head for a change. -Atticus Finch

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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 faster than adults, and evasion simply muddles 'em.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year. Scout

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Pass the damn ham, please.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

We're paying the highest tribute you can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It's that simple.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

It's not time to worry yet

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Things are always better in the morning.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passin'.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

They've done it before and they'll do it again and when they do it -- seems that only the children weep. Good night.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself...It's a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent.

- Harper Lee

Ladies in bunches always filled me with vague apprehension and a firm desire to be elsewhere.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Prejudice, a dirty word, and faith, a clean one, have something in common: they both begin where reason ends.

- Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee

As a reader I loathe introductions...Introductions inhibit pleasure, they kill the joy of anticipation, they frustrate curiosity.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

That boy is your company. And if he wants to eat up that tablecloth, you let him, you hear?

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Things are never as bad as they seem.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

She seemed glad to see me when I appeared in the kitchen, and by watching her I began to think there was some skill involved in being a girl.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It's knowing 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.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Every man’s island, Jean Louise, every man’s watchman, is his conscience. There is no such thing as a collective conscious.

- Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee

I don't want to hear any words like that while I'm here. Scout, you'll get in trouble if you go around saying things like that. You want to grow up to be a lady, don't you?' I said not particularly.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

I'm little but I'm old.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view—” “Sir?” “—until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Dill?" Mm?" Why do you reckon Boo Radleys never run off?" Dill sighed a long sigh and turned away from me. Maybe he doesn't have anywhere to run off to

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

See there?" Jem was scowling triumphantly. "Nothin' to it. I swear, Scout, sometimes you act so much like a girl its mortifyin

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

He turned out the light and went into Jem's room. He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

[T]he time your friends need you is when they’re wrong, Jean Louise. They don’t need you when they’re right

- Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee

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.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Some negroes lie, some are immoral, some negro men are not be trusted around women - black and white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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

- Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee

I wonder how much of the day I spend just callin' after you.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

You can't really get to know a person until you get in their shoes and walk around in them.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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.

- Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee

I shall never marry, Atticus." "Why?" "I might have children.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

The book to read is not the one that thinks for you but the one which makes you think.

- Harper Lee

Remember this also: it’s always easy to look back and see what we were, yesterday, ten years ago. It is hard to see what we are. If you can master that trick, you’ll get along.

- Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee

There's just some kind of men you have to shoot before you can say hidy to 'em. Even then, they ain't worth the bullet it takes to shoot 'em.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Cry about the simple hell people give other people- without even thinking. Cry about the hell white people give colored folks, without even stopping to think that they're people too.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Scout, Im telling you for the last time, shut your trap or go home - I declare to the Lord youre gettin more like a girl every day!” With that, I had no option but to join them.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Turtles don't feel, stupid," said Jem. "Were you ever a turtle, huh?

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

I never loved reading until I feared I would lose it. One does not love breathing.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

You rarely win, but sometimes you do.

- Harper Lee

When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

If you did not want much, there was plenty.

- Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee

Remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Everybody’s gotta learn, nobody’s born knowing.

- Harper Lee

I need a watchman to tell me this is what a man says but this is what he means, to draw a line down the middle and say here is this justice and there is that justice and make me understand the difference.

- Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee

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

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Nothin’s real scary except in books.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

One must lie under certain circumstances and at all times when one can't do anything about them.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

I try to give'em a reason, you see. It helps folks if they can latch onto a reason.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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

- Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee

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

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

I'm Charles Baker Harris...I can read

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Talking to Francis gave me the sensation of settling slowly to the bottom of the ocean.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

In Maycomb, if one went for a walk with no definite purpose in mind, it was correct to believe one's mind incapable of definite purpose.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Autumn was her happiest season.

- Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee

Sometimes we have to kill a little so we can live.

- Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee

Sometimes it’s better to bend the law a little in special cases.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Finders were keepers unless title was proven.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Clowns are sad, it's folks that laugh at them." "Well, I'm gonna be a new kind of clown. I'm gonna stand in the middle of the ring and laugh at the folks.

- Harper Lee

I came to the conclusion that people were just peculiar, I withdrew from them, and never thought about them until I was forced to.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

You can pet him, Mr. Arthur. He's asleep...

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Long ago, in a burst of friendliness, Aunty and Uncle Jimmy produced a son named Henry…

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

I didn't know how you were going to do it, but from now on I'll never worry about what'll become of you, son, you'll always have an idea.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

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

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

In other words, all I want to be is the Jane Austen of south Alabama

- Harper Lee

I just thought you'd like to know I can read. You got anything needs readin' I can do it.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Don’t push her. Let her go at her own speed. Push her and every mule in the county’d be easier to live with.

- Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee

When stalking one’s prey, it is best to take one’s time. Say nothing, and as sure as eggs he will become curious and emerge.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Nothing is more deadly than a deserted, waiting street.

- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Go away, the old buildings said. There is no place for you here. You are not wanted. We have secrets.

- Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee

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...

- Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee