To Kill a Mocking Bird

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To Kill a Mocking Bird

By | October 1999
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2. "What is the significance of the title of the novel"

"I'd rather you shoot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you'll go after the birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mocking bird." Atticus Finch recites these lines to his two children, Jem and Scout after he gives them air-rifles for Christmas. Scout is curious, as this is the first time that she has ever heard her father refer to anything as a sin, Scout asks Miss Maude what Atticus meant by this. Miss Maude tells Scout that mocking birds don't rip up people's garden's or annoy them in any way, all they do is play beautiful music for us to listen to.

To Kill A Mocking Bird is set in a small town in South America called Maycomb. Most of the town's people of this happy town are not at all what they seem for there is a great hate for all coloured humans. At first glance many readers would wonder how the title evolved, but once you explore the text you begin to understand what the bases of Harper Lee's message. Harper Lee has portrayed two characters as Mocking Birds. The first of these is Tom Robinson. Tom Robinson is a Negro living in Maycomb who becomes notorious when he is wrongly accused of the rape of a white woman. Atticus knows that the battle will not be an easy case to win, but decides to represent Tom Robinson, as he says that he couldn't hold his head up in town or tell the children what to do.

Tom Robinson was a harmless member of society who never hurt another human being and because he tried to help Maybella, who he thought was in need, was blamed for the rape of the young woman. At the end of the novel there is another symbol of the mocking bird, when Tom dies it shows the pointless killing of a mocking bird. Atticus is determined to prove the innocence of Tom Robinson. He slowly begins to build a very strong case that eventually comes to trial. Atticus proves that Tom could not have raped and beaten Maybella Ewell....