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To Kill a Mockingbird

by: Harper Lee

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1

“A mob's always made up of people, no matter what. Mr. Cunningham was part of a mob last night, but he was still a man. Every mob in every little Southern town is always made up of people you know—doesn't say much for them, does it?”

This quote refers to the mob that almost attacks Atticus in order to enter the jail to lynch Tom Robinson. The quote sums up a truth that Scout learns over the course of the book: that individuals you may know and even respect can band together to do terrible things. Although mobs may seem anonymous, they are made up of individual people who live otherwise normal lives.

2

“Secretly, Miss Finch, I’m not much of a drinker, but you see they could never, ever, understand that I live like I do because that’s the way I want to live.”

This secret, told to Scout, is said by Dolphus Raymond, a white man who has been shunned by the white community for living with a black woman. He pretends to be drunk to help the community feel more comfortable with his unorthodox choices. This moment illustrates the deception that pervades Maycomb, especially around matters of racism. It also reveals to Scout that living a life that makes you happy may require going against community norms and ostracizing yourself from society.