How effective is Harper Lee's title of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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How effective is Harper Lee's title of To Kill a Mockingbird?

'" Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember

it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."

That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do

something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it.

"Your father's right," she said. "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."' (p. 96)

From the above quote we learn that a mockingbird gives only pleasure

to people. It does not harm anyone, or destroy people's gardens, like

other birds might do. The book can be said to contain 'human

mockingbirds' who, each in their own way, are persecuted or treated

badly through no fault of their own.

Probably the two main and most obvious mockingbirds in the novel are

Boo Radley and Tom Robinson. These two characters very much contrast

each other, but the way they are treated by other persons in the book

gives them a mutual bond. Both of these characters had to pay for

their actions with their lives - Boo Radley being deprived of

friendship and the outside world by his own family, and Tom Radley

being convicted of a crime he did not commit, which ultimately lead to

his death.

Boo Radley, otherwise known as Arthur Radley, is described by Jem as a

monster-type figure: "Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging

from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could

catch, that's why his hands were blood-stained - if you ate an animal

raw, you could never wash the blood off. There was a long jagged scar

that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten;

his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time." (p.19)

We know that this is not what Boo Radley really looks like, and Jem is

giving this description to Scout so as to tease her. Being as young as

she is, she believes this portrayal of Boo. However, though Jem is

only having a laugh, this shows us what sort of image of Boo the

children grew up with. The title could be connected with this because

the children are mocking Boo's life and making fun of it.

I also think that the following words from Jem are important: '" I

think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in
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