It’s human nature to want to protect ourselves from danger or getting in trouble. The same thing happens in To Kill a Mockingbird by the majority of the characters whenever something happens that incriminates them. A demonstration of self-preservation in the novel is when Atticus is cross-examining Mayella Ewell in court. During the cross-examination, Atticus says, “What did your father see in the window, the crime of the rape or the best defense to it? Why don’t you tell the truth, child, didn’t Bob Ewell beat you up?” (Lee 251).
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee demonstrates that the world is surrounded with good and evil. Scout, Jem and Dill all start innocent, but when they become aware of the evil from the adult world, it forces them to mature quickly. It makes them realize the truth about life, being that there's good, but also evil. Harper Lee uses prejudices in To Kill A Mockingbird to show the evil in life. She shows this through women not being allowed to take part of the jury, people being judged on their social class or their different lifestyle but the most prominent is racism since the jury convicts Tom for a crime he didn't commit just because he was black.
They try to escape but Jem’s arm gets broken and he is unconscious for the rest of the novel. Luckily, they are rescued by Boo Radley and are taken home where Jem gets treated. Bob Ewell figured that attacking Atticus’s children was the next best thing to hurting him, since he was too much of a coward to do it directly. He had a grudge against Atticus for doing a good job of defending a black man, which was unthinkable given the status of black people during that time period. Through this, Scout learns firsthand about hatred.
There is a common misinterpretation of the meaning behind the Mockingbird leading many to believe that Scout is the Mockingbird in the story. Even though Scout displayed innocence but still was excluded from games with Dill and Jem because of her gender, Harper Lee did not intend for her to be perceived as a Mockingbird. On the contrary, Tom Robinson and Boo Radley are portrayed as mockingbirds, birds recognized for their innocence but also targeted. Body Paragraph #1 Topic Sentence #1: Tom Robinson, a black man convicted of rape, was an example of à Mockingbird because he was targeted even though he was innocent. Integrated Evidence #1: After the town of Maycomb found out about the tragic killing of Tom Robinson, “[Mr. Underwood] likened Tom’s death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children”(Lee 323) in an editorial.
Tom was charged with the rape of a local young girl, Mayella Ewell. Although he did not commit the crime, the town’s racist mindset led them to side with the guilty party, Bob Ewell. Tom Robinson was shot and killed, so in a sense, Maycomb County killed a mockingbird. The second is Boo Radley, a mysterious man that never shows his face, causing him to fall victim to the imaginations of Maycomb residents, especially those of children like Jem and Scout. Although Jem and Scout have their theories and alleged stories about Boo, he ends up saving their lives in a plot twist.
In To Kill a Mockingbird prejudice in Maycomb is terrible. There are two major people in To Kill A Mockingbird that are prejudged severely. Boo Radley and Tom Robinson are the two main people who are prejudged. There is also one other man who prejudged, Atticus Finch. All three of these men are mockingbirds.
One of which is in chapter 30 page 370 when Scout says that “Well it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird, wouldn’t it?” Scout says this to Atticus after Maycomb’s sheriff tried to convince Atticus that even if Jem or Boo Radley had stabbed Bob Ewell their actions would have been justified as Mr. Ewell had gotten Tom Robinson who was innocent killed. In response to the sheriff and Atticus’s conversation Scout tried to further justify the sheriff’s decision, that Bob had stabbed himself, by saying that if Boo Radley were to be taken to court it would be like shooting a mockingbird which Atticus says is a sin. This simile helps to represent the main idea of the book that people should not harm others that are innocent since Scout and the sheriff are defending Boo Radley who had stabbed Mr. Ewell in the process of defending the Finch children. In To Kill a Mockingbird there are many ideas that the book wants you to take away from reading the story. What the main one in the book that is talked about several times over is that you should not harm anyone or anything that is innocent.
In a racially charged atmosphere, “white trash” Mayella Ewell ignores the morality and conventions of the community, and makes a sexual advance on Tom Robinson. When discovered she covers her guilt and shame by accusing him of rape. In this era and in this community, Mayella’s accusation is seen as reasonable and unfortunately believable, which leaves Tom beaten before he enters the trial. However, Atticus expresses a powerful message in his closing argument to create a move for change in his society. The argument is expressed subliminally, by communicating that in the 1930’s society disregarded that all were equal, and categorised men and women based on the colour of their skin.
The saying “to kill a mocking bird is sin” is a common saying back then, maybe until now it’s still being used. The saying says “killing a mocking bird is sin” because mocking birds doesn’t really do any harm they just sing out with their hearts a tune. The book refers to this saying meaning that the innocence are taken away intentionally by the the accusers or townsfolk. In the book there are two or three “mockingbirds” they were misunderstood, accused, or just fighting for justice but the townsfolk just turned their backs on them. These mocking birds are: Arthur “boo” Radley, Tom Robinson, and Atticus finch.
In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch employs pathos and diction in his closing argument to the jury and the people of Maycomb in order to persuade them to see beyond their prejudice and free Tom Robinson. Atticus informs the jury about the evil assumptions that society makes about Negroes. Pathos is used to persuade the jury when Atticus says, “Some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men are not to be trusted around women—black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men” (Lee 273). In saying this, Atticus tries to convince the audience and jury that everyone is capable of making mistakes, and differences in appearance does not mean that groups of people are superior to others.