It took a while to get to know Nelle Lee, but those who did realized something about her. She just wanted to be comfortable in her own skin. Her cussing was unconscious; the clothes she wore appealed to her because they were practical; she laughed when one of her teasing remarks drew a comeback delivered with equal zest. But she would not stop to seek others' approval. The notion that she should never seeme to enter her head. Her right to live as she pleased was not up for negotiation, even if it ran against the grain of the milieu at Huntingdon. It was nobody's business. "That was an era when you did the proper thing," said Catherine Helms. "And your mother was horrified if you didn't. That was never part of Nelle's persona ― she didn't care! It must have taken a colossal amount of courage to be different."
~ from Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, by Charles J. Shields