Racist Taboos in Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

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In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, there were many characters that played minor roles in the story, but had a big impact. All of the characters represent a certain theme or symbol. To Kill a Mockingbird is about the events of two young children through the eyes of a young girl named Scout. The pair are taught a variety of lessons from a variety of characters. These characters only come into view for a short time but have touched their lives forever. Scout and Jem’s father, Atticus, is an ace lawyer who was asked to defend a black man named Tom Robinson. Tom was accused of raping a young white girl named Mayella Ewell. Tom Robinson ties into the symbolism of “killing a mockingbird” because his innocence resembles that of a mockingbird, and finding a victim like Tom guilty would compare to killing a mockingbird. Tom makes himself very suspicious, though, after he makes a remark during trial saying “looked like she didn’t have nobody to help her. Like I says… I felt right sorry for her” (264). Even though he truly did “feel sorry” for Mayella, no one believed him becaus...

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