The Mockingbird Theme in To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

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This novel by Harper Lee has a seemingly curious title to a reader who looks at it in a literal way. Someone may argue that there are no mockingbirds in To Kill a Mockingbird but I beg to differ. An actual mockingbird may not play a large role in this story however the idea and connotation of a mockingbird becomes evident throughout the story in many characters. This is a major theme in the story and is shown through the characters Boo Radley, Mr. Raymond, and Tom Robinson all connected in the fact that they are innocent good hearted people corrupted by the evil surrounding them.

Scout and Jem Finch are introduced to the novel as well as the small town of Maycomb. “There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County. But it was a time of vague optimism for some of the people: Maycomb County had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear itself.”(5) In this introduction of Maycomb Scout expresses the slowness, the old southern values, and the lack of money during the Great Depression. In this small sleepy town Boo Radley is an excellent example of a mockingbird. Boo is a character which rumors constantly circulate around and who is actually feared without being known or even seen. Scout and Jem and their friend Dill let their imagination run wild with Boo and are intrigued but see him as an idea or a myth more of an actual human with feelings. Boo Radley is a victim to the people of Maycomb that create the ridiculous rumors. Boo has done nothing to deserve the harsh rumors besides having a cruel “foot-washing” Baptist of a father who does not allow him contact with anyone outside their home Miss Maudie is one of the on...

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...eath. A man simply being kind to a lonely girl led to the hatred, evil, and prejudice of the town to be unleashed upon him without mercy.

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 . . . but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.”(90) This main theme of the good of a care free mockingbird singing its little heart out for the enjoyment of others is carried out through the characters Boo Radley, Mr. Raymond, and Tom Robinson. All were innocent people corrupted by the evil that is also inside people along with the good.

Works Cited

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York City, NY: J.B.Lippincott Company, 1990.
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