To Kill a Mockingbird: What Does the Mockingbird Represent?

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  • Topic: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
  • Pages : 3 (878 words )
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  • Published : October 16, 2010
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To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most beloved books of the late 20th century. Harper Lee won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for To Kill a Mocking Bird, even though it got many contrasting reviews. One of the hidden ideas Harper Lee repeated throughout the book, with the intent of pulling the title into the story line, is how many of the characters represent the mockingbird. She wanted readers to see that every character had a little bit of goodness in them it was just harder to find in some people. A mockingbird does the exact opposite of its name; it doesn’t mock oneself, but merely sings a beautiful tune for everyone to hear. Initially, the reader is unsure what the mockingbird represents; but after further reading it is easy to make the connection that the characters were formed to illustrate the title.

Jem and Scout are like mockingbirds; their fathers’ case caused them to be taunted by the towns’ folk and they had to act like adults, even though neither of them was ready. There are so many great examples of why Jem and Scout are like mockingbirds. For instance: “Although we heard no more about the Finch family from Aunt Alexandra, we heard plenty from the town. On Saturdays, armed with our nickels, when Jem permitted me to accompany him (he was now positively allergic to my presence when in public), we would squirm our way through the sweating crowds and sometimes hear, “There’s his chillun,” or “Yonders some Finches. (135)”” Scout had this thought as she began to realize that with her father working on the trial things would begin to be different for Jem and her. The Finch children were walking into town and being mocked the simple act of their father doing his job to the best of his ability, even if it means defending a Negro. They have to hold their heads high and take no notice of their neighbors and friends mocking them; they are being strong just like a mocking bird. Jem and Scout are not the only characters that...
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