Symbolism In To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

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The mockingbird in the title of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird," symbolizes a number of characters throughout the novel. In order to fully understand why these characters symbolize killed mockingbirds, one must first understand what the title represents and why it's wrong to kill a mockingbird. The idea that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird was first mentioned by Atticus Finch (the protagonist's, Scout, father) when he saw the children shooting things with BB guns. As he knows that soon they will go after birds, he tells them: "Shoot all the Blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird”. As Miss Maudie (the Finch's next-door neighbour) explains to Scout, it's a sin to kill a mockingbird because…show more content…
Despite the fact that he was helpful and kind especially towards Mayella Ewell, who later accused him of raping her. Tom was sent to court and found guilty even after Atticus Finch had undisputedly proved Toms innocence. Yet he was found guilty simply because he was a coloured African-American man. Harper Lee portrays Tom as a kind-hearted and respectful man, who took time out of his day to help other people, people who were underprivileged (even thought they were white). Lee's portrayal of this outstanding character and his Chivalrous acts highlights why he is the main reference to the image of the mockingbird in the title. Miss Maudie explains to young Scout Finch that, "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." Miss Maudie's definition of a mockingbird and her vindication on why it is a sin fits perfectly with the character of Tom Robinson, especially in his situation with Mayella. "Tom Robinson was the only person who was ever decent to [Mayella]." During the Trial, it is proven by Atticus that Tom was helpful to Mayella, by fixing things for her when he was walking by on his way to work. And the fact that the jury could still convict Tom after all the evidence suggested otherwise shows that although they…show more content…
Boo Radley never harmed anyone, but was victimized by the social prejudice of the Maycomb community. Although not established until the end of the novel, Boo Radley is set up to be the last discovered symbolic character for the image of the mockingbird. Harper Lee has done this to illustrate all points of injustice in the 1930s societal town of Maycomb, where rumours and old tales define Boo's life story rather than his authentically generous heart and personality. During the concluding chapter of the novel, Scout comes to the realization that blaming Boo for Bob Ewell's death would be "sort of like shootin' a mockingbird." Boo does many kind-hearted things in the novel such as leaving gifts in the knot-hole for Scout and Jem, repairing Jem's pants, putting the blanket on Scout discretely in order to keep her warm, and even saving them from the evil Bob Ewell. But due to his shyness and overall reclusiveness, the public has developed prejudice and false rumours about him, thus killing his innocence. Therefore Getting Boo sent to jail, or to his death, because he was doing the right thing and saving innocent children from a spiteful man would be like killing a mockingbird - unjust and sinful. Although the discovery of Boo's heroism and mockingbird qualities are only presented near the end of the novel, there are hints that Lee purposefully and professionally leaves throughout the novel that can found to show that despite all of the
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