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To Kill a Mockingbird

By mattsilvagi May 30, 2013 1418 Words
To kill a mockingbird theme essay

The book “to kill a mockingbird,” written by Harper Lee, uses the mockingbird to symbolize innocence. There are people in widely different situations who are innocent, such as Jem and Scout, Tom Robinson, and Arthur “Boo” Radley. The story takes place in a small town called Maycomb, in Alabama. There are two kids who go by the names Jem and Scout. Scout is the narrator of the story, and Jem is her older brother. They’re young, and still very innocent. Tom Robinson is a black man who has a loving family. He was accused of a crime that he did not commit. Arthur Radley, Boo, is a man who is looked after by his older brother after his dad died. People in the town have spread many different bad rumors about him that aren’t even true. Scout, Jem, Tom, and Arthur are all Mockingbirds as they are innocent to what happens. All this is related to today’s society where many people are accused of something that they never did.

The childhood innocence that Jem, Scout, and Dill were born with has been protecting them from the adult world problems, such as prejudice and discrimination, but as soon as Scout and Jem’s father was given the task to defend a black man, the door to that innocence is opened wide and left open. In Scout’s mind everybody is equal. “There’s only one kind of folks. Folks.” (Lee 227) Scout doesn’t realize that in the society that she lives in not one person thinks that everybody is equal. Jem is confused and wants answers so he asks, “If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike then why do they go out of their way to despise each other?” (pg. 227) He later finds out that it’s the way the people of Maycomb are and that it’s just the way society is most of the time. Dill’s aunt is Jem and Scout’s neighbor and during the summer months he stays with his aunt. His aunt told him that the town used to keep Boo Radley in a basement room in the courthouse, this led Dill’s curiosity to get Jem and scout to go with him and check it out. “Let’s see the room that they locked boo up in. my aunt says it’s bat-infested and he nearly died from the mildew. Come on. I bet they got chains and instruments of torture down there.” (TKAM movie) This quote shows the curiosity that Dill has about Boo Radley and the town. This eventually reveals the trial that Atticus has to defend a man named Tom Robinson. The curiosity and innocence of young children is so important today that if a child was exposed to and understood the dangers in adult life the child’s mind of everything would be destroyed.

A black man, by the name Tom Robinson, was charged of rape. He would always pass by the Ewell’s house and see the Ewell’s oldest daughter doing all of the hard work while also looking after all of her younger siblings. Every time that you would run into or see the father he would most likely be drunk out of his mind. One day, they decided to accuse him of raping the oldest daughter while the others were getting ice cream. “Atticus had used every tool available to a free man to save Tom Robinson, but in the secret courts of men’s hearts Atticus had no case. Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed (pg. 241).” When Tom was brought to court he was given the best lawyer in the town of Maycomb, Atticus. Atticus was given this task not only that if he said no he felt he wouldn’t be able to hold his head higher than any other lawyer, and be saying no to his family. Tom is like a mockingbird. Every time Tom would pass the Ewell’s house it looked like there was something still to do. He felt sorry for Mayella Ewell and so he decided to help her whenever he passed by, not charging any money just lending a hand to whatever needed to be done. “It is a sin to kill a mockingbird, because all they do is sing their little hearts out for us to enjoy.” (pg. 98) Tom is a nice guy who would help anybody. He was accused of raping Mayella and that was like sending Tom on “the Highway to Hell” or to a death sentence automatically. Mockingbirds never do anything bad. They only do good things like singing for people to enjoy. “Shoot all the blue jays if you can, but it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” (pg. 90) The mockingbird is a black bird, and Tom is a black man himself. The blue jay is a symbol for the Ewell’s generally speaking. The blue jay and mockingbird live in the same community, as do Tom Robinson and the Ewell’s. Tom Robinson is a mockingbird. He had done nothing wrong but was shot at anyway.

A man by the name of Arthur Radley is a neighbor of the Finches and Dill’s aunt. He was given the name “Boo” by the town because everybody is scared of him because of the rumors that they have heard about him from before. “Boo hides in the shadows but secretly does little things that help people remember life, like putting little things into the tree’s knothole for Scout and Jem. Mockingbirds are rarely seen but sing lovely songs for people to listen to, and to cheer them up.” (Citation *2) Boo is the best example of a mockingbird putting little things into the knothole for Scout and Jem to play with. He hasn’t done anything bad or wrong to them. “It is a sin to kill a mockingbird (lee pg. 90).” Leaving Boo stay hidden is like shooting a blue jay, because someone could shoot all the blue jays they want and not get into trouble. Getting Boo out of the shadows is like killing a mockingbird, boo was giving them little trinkets and dolls to play with and doing nothing wrong. Boo has always been there watching over the kids, and would never let them get hurt by other people. “It is a sin to kill a mockingbird because all they do is sing their hearts out for us to enjoy.” (pg. 98) Boo was never doing anything bad toward the kids, but keeping a close eye on them and giving them little trinkets to play with and have fun with. Arthur Boo Radley is a mockingbird.

Throughout the story there were mockingbirds, like People who have done nothing wrong, or have done something helpful, but have been accused of or exposed to evils. There are mockingbird like people in today’s society who have been accused or falsely identified of crimes that they didn’t commit. A man by the name of Ryan Lanza, 24 years old at the time, was falsely accused of being the shooter at the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. He lives locally around the school, and through social media, was falsely identified as the shooter. His photos from Facebook and Twitter were used on CNN News Center without confirmation or authentication that it really was him. Ryan was at work and his phone and email were being flooded by emails and phone calls from his friends and news casting channels asking about the shooting. Ryan Lanza is a mockingbird of modern time. He had done nothing wrong, and he was going through his normal day of work, then he was accused of killing the little kids and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary School. The book “To Kill a Mockingbird” has many people throughout the story who are like mockingbirds as does today’s society. These people have done absolutely nothing wrong but were accused of problems that they didn’t commit.

Citations
(1)
"Ryan Lanza Falsely Identified As Shooter On Twitter, Facebook Read More at Http://www.inquisitr.com/4387Ryan Lanza Falsely Accused of School Shooting Ryan Lanza Falsely Identified As Shooter On Twitter, Facebook." The Inquisitr Ryan Lanza Falsely Identified As Shooter On Twitter Facebook Comments. Inquistir, 14 Dec. 2012. Web. 31 Jan. 2013.

(2)
"I Need Quotes That Show How Atticus Finch, Boo Radley and Tom Robinson Are Innocent Mockingbirds?" Yahoo! Answers. Yahoo!, n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2013.

(3)
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD MOVIE

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