Who are the mockingbirds in the novel and why?
Word Count: 1,169
In To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the title of the novel is very significant representing one of the most important themes and symbols which are mockingbirds. Although there aren’t many “mockingbirds” killed in the novel there are three main characters that represent this theme: Tom Robinson, Boo Radley, and Scout. The importance of the symbol of mockingbirds is first introduced to the story when Scout and Jem receive air guns for Christmas and Atticus doesn’t want to teach them how to shoot but he tells them “’I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” (Lee 90) Curious about what their father could mean, being the only time they had heard him talk about something being a sin, Jem goes to ask Miss Maudie, “’Your father's right," she said. "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.’” (Lee 90) This describes mockingbirds as animals that represent innocence and purity. This can be compared to “mockingbirds” of society, they never cause any harm, and usually have good intents.
Tom Robinson is an important example of a human “mockingbird”. Tom Robinson is characterized by what the people of Maycomb County say about him. After being accused of raping Mayella Ewell, most of the people see him as an evil beast. Atticus is protecting Tom Robinson due to his own morals knowing what was right and believing that Tom deserved a fair defense. “The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.” (Lee 105) Atticus goes out of his way to make sure that he gives Tom’s trial his all despite the prejudice society Maycolm consists of. During the trial while...