To Kill a Mockingbird

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In the novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the title is appropriate because it gives the reader the idea that the book is about killing mockingbirds. The killing of the mockingbirds isn’t taken literally; instead it symbolizes the destroying of innocence in many characters throughout the novel. Miss Maudie (a minor character in the novel) said that “mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.” (pg.90) Three examples of mockingbirds in To Kill A Mockingbird are Jean Louise Finch, Tom Robinson, and Boo Radley.

Jean Louise “Scout” Finch is welcomed to racism very early in her life. In the beginning of the novel, Scout is unaware of the amount of racism around Maycomb; her innocence and ignorance hides her from the real truth that surrounds her. By the end of the novel, Scout’s understanding of racism and discrimination is clear because she begins to understand the Tom Robinson case. Her innocence began to vanish as her perspective became no longer of a young child, but of a young lady. Her innocence was broken by racism and the evil things around her which is why she is considered a mockingbird.

Tom Robinson was an African-American who was put to trial after allegedly raping Mayella Ewell--the daughter of a poor man. He was sent to prison even though he clearly was innocent of the rape because of his colour. Tom was a victim stuck in the middle of Maycomb’s racist society. When he was caught attempting to break free from the prison, Tom was shot and his death was compared to “the senseless slaughter of songbirds” (pg.241) in an editorial. Tom Robinson is considered a mockingbird because his innocence was shattered by the evil of racism all around him.

Arthur “Boo” Radley is another mockingbird mentioned in the novel. The citizens of Maycomb make Boo appear to be...
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