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To Kill a Mockingbird

Autor:   •  April 18, 2016  •  Essay  •  1,071 Words (5 Pages)  •  415 Views

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A Mockingbird’s Innocence

In Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird novel, she tells a story about two kids named Jem and Scout Finch. Harper Lee helps the reader imagine life back then through Scout’s eight year old mind. The novel tells the story about Scout and Jem growing up in Maycomb, Alabama during the 1930’s. Along with their summer friend, Dill, they became entranced with the idea of getting a glimpse of their reclusive and unseen neighbor, Boo Radley. Meanwhile, their attorney father, Atticus Finch, has decided to defend Tom Robinson, a black who is falsely accused of raping a local white woman, Mayella Ewell. The children get caught up in the trial, in which Tom is convicted and eventually killed while trying to escape from prison. Jem and Scout become targets of Bob Ewell, the father of Mayella, and he tries to kill them one night on their way home from a pageant. Boo Radley, who the children have never seen before, shows up to save them, killing Bob Ewell in the process. The symbolism of the mockingbirds and the character Boo Radley and Tom Robinson are essential for the message of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird.

In the novel To Kill A Mockingbird, the mockingbirds are a symbol of innocence. Though the title has very little to do with the novel, it is very symbolic towards the plot. A mockingbird is a harmless bird that makes the world more pleasant by not ruining yards or plants. In Harper Lee’s novel, she wrote, “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.” (119). In the story, Tom Robinson and Boo Radley symbolize the mockingbirds because they were both peaceful people who did no harm. The characters in the book believe that Tom and Boo are bad and dangerous people, but in reality they are harmless people who are kind, like a mockingbird. Harper Lee not only put these two men in the story to create suspense, she proves that justice and compassion reach beyond the boundary of color and human prejudices. The title of the book is a metaphor for both Tom and Boo. In this case however, one mockingbird is shot, the other is forced to kill.

Boo Radley went through his life never wanting to hurt a fly. He started to leave treasures in a tree like gum, pennies, and wax dolls for Jem and Scout. He sewed up Jem’s pants that were ripped and laid them on the fence so he could easily get them. Although he did not know the children that well, he risked his own life to save theirs when they were being attacked by Bob Ewell. This shows how fragile and gentle Boo was, but no one knew because everyone feared him from the false stories. Scout, Jem, and Dill were curious to see a glimpse of him because of the stories from the people of Maycomb. After hearing stories like these,


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