The Slaughter of a Songbird
The reason behind the title of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird. Mockingbirds are considered innocent and selfless creatures. In Chelsey Philpot article The Long Life of a Mockingbird it stresses the importance of a mockingbird and the impact it has throughout To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee’s definition of a mockingbird is seen continuously in the novel. It is that a person may be compared to a mockingbird if he is virtuous or without fault. Tom Robinson is an innocent man falsely accused of a crime and forced to defend his character. The false accusations that were forced upon Tom Robinson’s innocence reveal him as the greatest example of a "Mockingbird" in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. Firstly, a citizen of Maycomb County, Miss Maudie, thoroughly explains what a mockingbird is and what it means saying, “Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy…That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird”(Lee 119). To fully realize the mockingbird in Tom Robinson, the reader learns quickly that he is harmless. Adam Smykowski explains in Symbolism and Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird by saying, “A mockingbird symbolizes Tom Robinson, and underprivileged black people in general. They are innocent, and would never harm anyone.” Tom Robinson is a hardworking, African American. He lives with his wife and six children in a simple home in Maycomb County. An accident that occurred when Tom was young left him with absolutely no use of his left arm whatsoever. Laurie Champion explains in an article called Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird that, “Tom's left arm "hung dead”.” Even with the disability of his arm, Tom is a great example to his six children considering what terrible hardships had been placed on him throughout his life for no reason. The way that Tom conducts himself not only in private but also in public reveals his good character and genuine love for other people no matter...
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