What Does Atticus Symbolize In To Kill A Mockingbird

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To Kill a Mockingbird, a Pulitzer Prize winning novel, which first lined book shelves in 1960.The novel, revolutionary for it’s time, came filled with many symbols embedded in the clever writing techniques utilized by Harper Lee. One of the most recognized symbols from this novel is its namesake, the mockingbird. By definition it is a bird noted for its ability to mimic the songs of other birds. Miss Maudie makes an excellent point stating, “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy...That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” (Lee 119). Symbolically throughout To Kill a Mockingbird a mockingbird represents pure goodness and innocence, but that innocence dies when corrupted by evil.
Throughout To Kill a Mockingbird, several characters are representative mockingbirds. Tom Robinson, a Negro client of Atticus Finch’s, who was accused
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Harper Lee illustrated Tom Robinson as a kind, church-going man. However, the town sees him as a criminal who took advantage of Mayella Ewell. The citizens of Maycomb felt that Atticus should not bother defending him because he did not deserve it. They made their disapproval known by making whispers about both Atticus and Tom Robinson, advertising a new cartoon modeled after Atticus, and assembling a mob to attack Tom Robinson in jail (Lee chapter 12).Mrs. Dubose was one of those citizens who was not afraid to make her opinion known, even to Jem and Scout, telling them, “Yes indeed, what has this world come to when a Finch goes against his raising? I tell you!” (Lee 135). Atticus’s beliefs about Tom Robinson’s innocence are accurate; he had played no part in Mayella’s rape. Like a mockingbird, Tom Robinson had never caused
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