“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.
“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” (90). Although the title of the novel has little literal connection to the actual storyline, it holds a huge amount of symbolic weight in this tale of innocents wounded by the evil surrounding them. The ‘mockingbird’ represents various characters in the novel that are harmed one way or another, particularly by the judgmental, prejudiced ways of the Maycomb townsfolk. Throughout the course of the book, the innocence they once had is destroyed, figuratively ‘killing’ the mockingbirds.
The theme of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mocking Bird is the existence of racism and prejudice in the 1930 – 40's. Harper Lee succeeds in presenting the topic in a manner that is not overly simplistic and thus achieves the task of allowing the reader to fully appreciate the complex nature of unjust discrimination. Harper Lee's inclusion of characters such as Tom Robinson, Boo Radley, Dolphus Raymond and many others, aid the reader to grasp the concept of racism and its central role in the town of Maycomb.
The mockingbirds in the story symbolize peace and innocence because they don’t do anything wrong and they only bring joy to people. “‘But remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird [said by Atticus]’....’Your father's right,’ she [Miss Maudie] said. ‘Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy” (Lee, 119). The title also has meaning in it, since mockingbirds represent innocence, to kill a mockingbird means to destroy innocence. Some of the characters in the story can be represented as mockingbirds, or innocent people destroyed by evil things. One of the major mockingbirds in the story, Tom Robinson, who was killed by the police, was an innocent man who was destroyed by the evil of the Ewell’s. “‘Tom’s dead.” [said by Atticus]. Aunt Alexandra put her hands on her mouth. ‘They shot him,’ said Atticus. ‘He was running. It was during their exercise period’ (Lee, 315). Tom had the misfortune of knowing the Ewell’s, it was because of Mayella and Bob’s lies that he died. “Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed” (Lee, 323). There are other mockingbirds in the story too, such as Jem and Boo Radley. Jem’s innocence was destroyed during Tom Robinson’s trial, where he sees Tom undergo an unfair trial. Since the trial took place in the deep South in the 1930’s, what a white man says is held higher than what a black man says, even when it’s not true. "The jury couldn't
To Kill a Mockingbird is the story of young Scout and her brother Jem. They live in the small, southern town of Maycomb, Alabama during the time of the Great Depression. Their fairly uneventful lives are changed greatly one day when they learn their father, Atticus Finch, an attorney, will be defending Tom Robinson. Tom Robinson is a black man who has been unjustly accused of raping a white women. Although it is clear to almost everyone that he is not guilty, Tom is convicted by the all white jury. At that time a Negro 's word had no chance against a white man’s, no matter how repulsive and unrespected that white man was. Despite the many changes that have been made to both society and the Justice System since the 1930s, racial bias is not a thing of the
Mockingbirds represent Tom Robinson because people look down upon him because he is black. Mr.Ewell accused Tom Robinson of beating and raping Mayella Ewell, his oldest child. In the end, no one had any evidence, so it solely depended on each man’s word. Atticus Finch, Robinson’s lawyer and Scout and Jem’s father, found that the person who beat Mayella’s right eye would have to use their left hand. The jury found Robinson guilty even though he couldn’t have committed the crime because “his left arm was fully twelve inches shorter than his right, and hung dead at his side”(Lee 211). Later at the prison, guards shot him multiple times after ‘attempting to escape’. In addition to maintaining a full-time job and supporting his family, he had found time to help others in the community, white or black, for free. Despite helping The Ewells with chores, they didn’t return the kindness when Robinson needed it the most, ultimately killing him.
Mockingbirds are cheerful birds who mean no harm, and never do one thing but make beautiful music for all to hear. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, those who are innocent and harmless and never show hatefulness can be described as mockingbirds. According miss Maudie, mockingbirds are described as "...[those who] don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us"(Lee103). Harper Lee uses the fictional town of Maycomb to show how judgemental society can be. To Kill a Mockingbird is significant as a title because it becomes a symbol for the characters Tom Robinson, Jean Louise "scout" Finch and Mr. Arthur "Boo" Radley.
In Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, she shows how society in the 1930’s affects the lives of many people. One of these people is Tom Robinson, who is expressed to be a “mockingbird” of the story. A mockingbird is unlike several other birds and never harms anyone, therefore should not be killed because it would be like killing peace. Tom is used in the novel as a mockingbird to show how the town of Maycomb, Alabama is racist.
A Mockingbird is an innocent animal that exists solely to make music, it does not harm nor offend any around it but rather tries to make life more pleasant. Scout and Jem’s father tells them they can “shoot all the Blue Jays you want, if you can hit’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a Mockingbird,” (pg 69). In To Kill A Mockingbird Boo Radley and Tom Robinson can be seen as Mockingbirds who are both peaceful people that would never dream of hurting another, however both of these characters are in a sense killed by the community of Maycomb through their prejudice attitudes and beliefs. In contrast with the loud and obn...
During the 1930's prejudice and racism was spread through the U.S. For example in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, the small town of Maycomb struggles with these aspects. Each character of the novel has a strong personality. Scout Finch is tough, always has an opinion, and is a tomboy. On the other hand Boo Radley stays hidden most of the time, but we all know he is actually a friend to Jem and Scout. Then there is Tom Robinson, a hardworking, strong, and innocent man. But what do all these characters have in common? They can all be analyzed as "mockingbirds". Throughout the novel each of their innocence is destroyed in some way. In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird several of these characters become a symbolic mockingbird including Scout Finch, Boo Radley, and Tom Robinson.