Quotes From 'A Time to Kill'

Feel the Anguish of a Father and Much More

Samuel L Jackson In 'A Time To Kill'. Archive Photos / Stringer/ Moviepix/ Getty Images

Set in Mississippi, A Time to Kill is a heartrending story of a father who fights for justice after his 10-year-old daughter is brutally assaulted. The father, Carl Lee Hailey, is accused of killing the men who attacked his daughter. Jake Tyler Brigance is the young white lawyer assigned to represent him. In these quotes from "A Time to Kill," you feel the sorrow of a father who does not give up his fight for justice. Gain insight into what it means to be a father in a racist society with these quotes.

Carl Lee Hailey

  • "America is a wall and you are on the other side. How's a black man ever going to get a fair trial with the enemy on the bench and in the jury box? My life in white hands?"
  • "Nigger, Negro, black, African-American, no matter how you see me, you see me different, you see me like that jury sees me... you are them."
  • "If you was on that jury, what would it take to convince you to set me free? That's how you save my ass. That's how you save us both."
  • "The fact is you are just like all the rest of them. When you look at me, you don't see a man, you see a black man."
  • "We are on different sides of the line ... I ain't never seen you in my part of town. I bet you don't even know where I live. Our daughters, Jake, they ain't never gonna play together."
  • "Yes, they deserved to die. I hope they burn in hell."
  • "You Jake, that's how. You are my secret weapon because you are one of the bad guys. You don't mean to be but you are. It's how you was raised."

Jake Tyler Brigance

  • "What is it in us that seeks the truth? Is it our minds or is it our hearts?"
  • "And until we can see each other as equals, justice is never going to be even-handed. It will remain nothing more than a reflection of our own prejudices."
  • "Can you see her? Her raped, beaten, broken body soaked in their urine, soaked in their semen, soaked in her blood, left to die. Can you see her? I want you to picture that little girl. Now imagine she's white."
  • "I just thought our kids could play together."
  • "If this is a party, boys, where's the chips and beef? Otherwise, your being here seems a bit like illegal client solicitation, what with Carl Lee already having a lawyer and all."
  • "It's not me, we're not the same, Carl Lee. The jury has to identify with the defendant. They see you, they see a yard worker; they see me, they see an attorney. I live in town; you live in the hill."
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Khurana, Simran. "Quotes From 'A Time to Kill'." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, thoughtco.com/quotes-from-a-time-to-kill-2832827. Khurana, Simran. (2020, August 26). Quotes From 'A Time to Kill'. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/quotes-from-a-time-to-kill-2832827 Khurana, Simran. "Quotes From 'A Time to Kill'." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/quotes-from-a-time-to-kill-2832827 (accessed March 22, 2023).