“I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks.”
Scout says this to Jem when they are discussing why different groups in their town do not get along. Jem disagrees and believes that people’s differences are the source of their disagreements. While Jem accurately identifies a major source of conflict in Maycomb, Scout expresses a deeper yet more naïve understanding of people’s shared humanity. Her innocence is also a lesson to the reader, because it communicates an idealized world in which people are able to respect one another despite racial and socioeconomic differences.
“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.”
This conversation between Atticus and Scout comes early in the book, after Scout’s first day of school. Atticus is trying to get Scout to understand why her new teacher behaved differently than Scout expected and discourages her from making judgments about others, especially on the basis of race or class, until she has considered their individual perspective. This conversation sets up an ongoing theme of empathy and guides Scout’s efforts to imagine other characters’ interpretations of important events, such as the Tom Robinson trial.
“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.”
Although this line sounds like a command, the speaker, Dolphus Raymond, is actually predicting what Dill