The Mockingbirds of To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

1256 Words3 Pages

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” (p.90) Miss. Maudie, one of the main protagonists in To Kill a Mockingbird, warns the young girl Scout that mockingbirds should not to be killed or hunted down because they represent those who are kind and innocent. So, on a broader spectrum, the term “to kill a mockingbird” symbolizes cruel and improper behavior towards people with good hearts and intentions. In the town of Maycomb, unethical behaviors, such as prejudice and gossip, are most commonly used against the “mockingbirds”. Three of those “mockingbirds” that are featured in this novel are Arthur “Boo” Radley, Tom Robinson, and Atticus Finch. Due to the depiction of the mockingbird symbol in the novel, the reader understands the consequences that immoral attitudes have towards those who are innocent and kindhearted. The first “mockingbird” that is featured in the novel is a man named Atticus Finch. Not only is Atticus Finch the sole representative of Maycomb in the legislature, but also he is a brilliant lawyer. In addition, he has a good reputation in both Maycomb’s black and white communities because of his exceptional character. However, his reputation is soon shattered when he is faced with a case in court that affects him personally: he must defend an African American man in court in Maycomb’s segregated society. If Atticus chooses to try defending the man, he will lose his good status in town, since his racist American neighbors will soon disrespect him for treating the African Americans as equal to the Americans, which is highly unacceptable in the United States during the 1930s. However, Atticus still accepted the case believing that if he does not, he w... ... middle of paper ... ...was real nice.” (p.281) Thus, Atticus Finch, Tom Robinson, and Arthur “Boo” Radley are all victims of rumour, humiliation, and prejudice. Firstly, Atticus is humiliated by his family and his neighbourhood because he has stood up to an African American man, and then, is nicknamed “nigger-lover” for his decision. By strong evidence, Tom Robinson is proven innocent of rapping a young white woman, but is still convicted, and then shot to death because he is black. Finally, Arthur Radley is greatly misunderstood because of his mysterious background and is forced to isolate from society to escape the awful and untruthful rumours about him in Maycomb. Through the storytelling of Atticus Finch, Tom Robinson, and Arthur “Boo” Radley, the reader understands how the mockingbird symbol is used to represent those who are innocent, and have good intentions at heart.

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