Killing Birds as a Metaphor in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

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Atticus said to Jem one day, “I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird,”(pg. 92) In Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch teaches his children not not to kill mockingbirds because they are innocent; all they do is help and get treated poorly. All throughout the novel multiple people are seen as “mockingbirds”. In the novel, Atticus Finch, Tom Robinson, and Boo (Arthur) Radley are all metaphorically portrayed as mockingbirds because they all try to help others, yet they are mistreated.
Boo (Arthur) Radley is seen as a mockingbird when he gives Scout and Jem gifts before meeting them. “He was our neighbor; he gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch, and a chain, a pair of good luck pennies and our lives,”(pg. 282). This is considered being a mockingbird because Boo does for they Finch family despite his being labeled the neighborhood wacko. Boo is talked about and judged before he is able to
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Atticus Finch is treated poorly for the choices he made because he wanted to help other people. Despite the racism in the town, Atticus defended Tom Robinson, a Black man accused of raping a White women in the segregated south. “She was white, and she tempted a Negro. She did something that in our society is unspeakable: she kissed a black man. Not an old Uncle, but a strong young Negro man. No code mattered to her before she broke it, but it came crashing down on her afterwards," (pg. 208). Atticus helped Tom Robinson even though his life and the lives of his children were threatened and he was able to get the judge to consider letting Tom go free. Atticus is treated poorly because the actions he chooses to take go against the cultural norms of his society. Atticus fights for justice and tries to serve as a role model for his children even when he is

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