To Kill a Mockingbird

Reverend Sykes Character Analysis

The reverend of First Purchase, the black church in Maycomb. He’s a kind and generous man, though Scout notes that like all preachers in her experience, he’s preoccupied with sin and insisting that women are somehow compromised. He kindly allows Scout, Jem, and Dill to sit with him during Tom Robinson’s trial, and he gives much of his church’s collection money to Helen in the weeks before the trial.

Reverend Sykes Quotes in To Kill a Mockingbird

The To Kill a Mockingbird quotes below are all either spoken by Reverend Sykes or refer to Reverend Sykes. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Warner Books edition of To Kill a Mockingbird published in 1960.
Chapter 12 Quotes

Lula stopped, but she said, “You ain't got no business bringin' white chillun here—they got their church, we got our'n. It is our church, ain't it, Miss Cal?”

[...]

When I looked down the pathway again, Lula was gone. In her place was a solid mass of colored people.

One of them stepped from the crowd. It was Zeebo, the garbage collector. “Mister Jem,” he said, “we're mighty glad to have you all here. Don't pay no 'tention to Lula, she's contentious because Reverend Sykes threatened to church her. She's a troublemaker from way back, got fancy ideas an' haughty ways—we're mighty glad to have you all.”

Page Number: 136
Explanation and Analysis:
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Reverend Sykes Character Timeline in To Kill a Mockingbird

The timeline below shows where the character Reverend Sykes appears in To Kill a Mockingbird. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 12
Prejudice Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Small Town Southern Life Theme Icon
Reverend Sykes leads Calpurnia, Scout, and Jem to the front pew. Calpurnia gives dimes to Scout and... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
Small Town Southern Life Theme Icon
Outside, Jem and Scout chat with Reverend Sykes . He mentions that Atticus is very kind and Scout asks why they’re taking collection... (full context)
Chapter 16
Prejudice Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Small Town Southern Life Theme Icon
...Atticus for doing his job. By the time Jem finds Scout, there’s no more room. Reverend Sykes invites the children to sit in the balcony with the black people. Scout surveys the... (full context)
Chapter 17
Prejudice Theme Icon
Courage Theme Icon
Small Town Southern Life Theme Icon
...Mayella. He stands and points to Tom as he says this, and the court erupts. Reverend Sykes tries to get Jem, Scout, and Dill to leave, but they refuse, and he doesn’t... (full context)
Chapter 18
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
Courage Theme Icon
...that Robinson’s left arm is a foot shorter than his right, with a shriveled hand. Reverend Sykes whispers that it got caught in a cotton gin when he was a boy and... (full context)
Chapter 21
Growing Up Theme Icon
Small Town Southern Life Theme Icon
...and Dill return to find that the jury is still out, and few people moved. Reverend Sykes shares that Judge Taylor seemed like he may have been leaning toward Tom’s side. Jem... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
Courage Theme Icon
Small Town Southern Life Theme Icon
...verdicts: they’re all guilty. Atticus packs his things, whispers something to Tom, and then leaves. Reverend Sykes calls Scout to attention and makes her stand for Atticus’s departure with the other black... (full context)