Topic: mockingbird symbolism, subject of innocence
The novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ practically states the theme of the book on the front cover. I feel the characters’ lives and the plot events revolve around this subject. The book is narrated by a young girl named Jean Louise or “Scout,” who is 5 years old. She begins the novel by introducing her brother Jem, who is 9 years old, and her father Atticus, who is a lawyer. They live in the small rural town of Maycomb, Alabama during the 1930s, the Great Depression. This town is all Scout really knows. Scout has a very creative imagination. She represents childhood innocence very evidently as soon as she starts her story.
The first reference to mockingbirds in this book that I can recall would be in chapter 10. Jem and Scout received air-rifles from their Uncle Jack for Christmas, but Atticus hadn’t taught them to shoot. But Atticus did say to Jem “…remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird,” when referring to what he could use his air-rifle for. When Scout wants further explanation, she goes to her neighbor, Miss Maudie. She agreed with Atticus, and said that all mockingbirds do is make music for us to enjoy. They aren’t pests like other birds and eat up people’s gardens, but rather only sing their hearts out for us. And that’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird- they are innocent.
There are many characters that represent mockingbirds in this book. Scout definitely shows innocence continuously throughout her childhood, not to mention her last name is Finch, the name of another small bird. But Scout and Jem’s summertime visitor and close friend Dill, helps the reader to recollect the idea of childhood itself being pure innocence. He begins to show this quality with his interest in Boo Radley. He was the most curious of all the children, and frankly just wanted to be Boo’s friend. Dill and Jem even tried to invite Boo out to ice cream by lowering a note on a fishing pole into...