To Kill a Mockingbird: the Mockingbird as a Symbol of Goodness

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, Truman Capote Pages: 2 (611 words) Published: April 25, 2011
The Mockingbird: A Symbol of Goodness

The novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, was written by Harper Lee in 1960 and narrated by the main character, 6 year old Scout Finch. The setting of the novel is a small town in Alabama in the 1930s. Scout’s father, Atticus, was a lawyer who defended a young black man named Tom Robinson who was accused of raping a young white girl named Mayella Ewell. The novel is also about the relationship between Scout, Jem who is Scout’s brother, and their friend, Dill. They believe that Boo Radley, a neighbor boy who never comes outside to play, is insane. The title of the story is symbolic of the goodness of a mockingbird that never hurts anyone but can get hurt by the cruelty of others. In the novel, there are innocent people who do no harm to other people but end up getting hurt. The writer of this paper will demonstrate how Tom Robinson and Boo Radley are innocent and harmless people or “mockingbirds” who are hurt by the thoughtless ways of other people. Boo Radley is a character in the story who is like a mockingbird. He lives in an abandoned looking house in Scout’s neighborhood. He never comes out of the house. His father is punishing him by keeping him in the house because he got in trouble with the law when he was a teen-ager. The neighbors blame all the neighborhood vandalism on Boo. He stays to himself and does not bother any one. He leaves presents for Jem and Scout. In spite of the fact that Scout and Jem think he is crazy, he protected Scout from the cold when she was watching the fire at Miss Maudie’s house. Atticus said to Jem, “Someday maybe, Scout can thank him for covering her up”. Scout asked, “Thank who?” Atticus replied, “Boo Radley” (Lee 77). Another example of Boo representing a mockingbird is when he rescues Jem and Scout when Mr. Ewell was trying to kill them. When Mr. Tate did not want to accuse Boo of killing Mr. Ewell, Scout replied, “Well, it’d be sort of like shootin a mockingbird, wouldn’t...
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