Inspirational Harper Lee Quotes

Harper Lee (April 28, 1926 – February 19, 2016) was an American novelist. This post features some Inspirational Harper Lee Quotes.

Harper Lee was widely known for To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960. Immediately successful, it won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize and has become a classic of modern American literature. Though Lee had only published this single book, in 2007 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature.

The plot and characters of To Kill a Mockingbird are loosely based on Lee’s observations of her family and neighbors, as well as an event that occurred near her hometown in 1936, when she was 10 years old. The novel deals with the irrationality of adult attitudes towards race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s, as depicted through the eyes of two children. The novel was inspired by racist attitudes in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama.

Another novel, Go Set a Watchman, was written in the mid-1950s and published in July 2015 as a “sequel”, though it was later confirmed to be To Kill a Mockingbird’s first draft.

Harper Lee Quotes
Harper Lee Quotes

Harper Lee Quotes

“Things are never as bad as they seem.”
― Harper Lee

“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.”
― Harper Lee

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

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
Harper Lee quotes

“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”
― Harper Lee

“Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.”
― Harper Lee

“With him, life was routine; without him, life was unbearable.”
― Harper Lee

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

“Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)… 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.”
― Harper Lee

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
― 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.”
― Harper Lee

“Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.”
― Harper Lee

“I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year.”
― Harper Lee

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
― Harper Lee

“Things are always better in the morning.”
― Harper Lee

“People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.”
Harper Lee quotes

“If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I’m beginning to understand something. I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time. It’s because he wants to stay inside.”
― Harper Lee

“The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
― 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.”
― 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.”
― 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.”
― 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.”
― Harper Lee

“I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”
― Harper Lee

“A man can condemn his enemies, but it’s wiser to know them.”
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.”
― 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.”
― Harper Lee

“As you grow up, always tell the truth, do no harm to others, and don’t think you are the most important being on earth. Rich or poor, you then can look anyone in the eye and say, ‘I’m probably no better than you, but I’m certainly your equal.”
Harper Lee quotes

“Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
― Harper Lee

“Pass the damn ham, please.”
― Harper Lee

“We’re paying the highest tribute you can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It’s that simple.”
― 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.”
― Harper Lee

“As a reader I loathe introductions…Introductions inhibit pleasure, they kill the joy of anticipation, they frustrate curiosity.”
― 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.”
― Harper Lee

“Ladies in bunches always filled me with vague apprehension and a firm desire to be elsewhere.”
― 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.”
― Harper Lee

“As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it—whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash”
― 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

“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… 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.”
― Harper Lee

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