Symbolism: To Kill a Mockingbird

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Centre Hastings Secondary School

TKAM Mockingbird Symbol Essay

Submitted by: Denver Jones
Submitted to: Mr. Rogers
Course Code: ENG 2D1
Date: April 30th, 2012

A mockingbird is a harmless bird that makes the world more pleasant by doing nothing but sing to us and doing no harm to anyone. In To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the mockingbird symbolizes Boo Radley, Tom Robinson, Scout and Jem, and Mayella Ewell, who were all peaceful people who never did any harm. To kill or harm them would be a sin. Scout's father, Atticus, tells Scout and Jem, "I'd rather you shoot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you'll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."(Lee 69).

Boo Radley went through his life never wanting to hurt a fly. He left gum, pennies, and other things for Scout and Jem. Boo sewed Jem's pants and left them on the fence so that he could easily locate them. Also, Boo risked his life to save Scout and Jem's. Boo was a fragile and gentle person. Throughout the novel, Scout, Jem, and Dill are very curious about the “mysterious” Boo Radley because he never leaves his home to come outside or associates with anyone in the neighbourhood. The children are afraid of him because of all the stories they hear about him from the people of Maycomb. For example, Miss Stephanie tells the children that while Boo was sitting in the living room cutting a magazine, he “drove the scissors into his parent's leg, pulled them out, wiped them on his pants, and resumed his activities.” (Lee 11). Boo was never really given a chance to prove himself that he was innocent and did no harm to anyone else because of all the stories that were told about him. The stories led people to believe that Boo was a rather evil person, instead of a harmless mockingbird.

Chopping wood and doing whatever he could for Mayella Ewell was Tom Robinson's only crime. Just like Boo Radley, Tom never, ever, harmed a...
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