• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How do Tom Robinson and Boo Radley conform to the Mockingbird Type?

Extracts from this document...


To kill a Mockingbird How do Tom Robinson and Boo Radley conform to the Mockingbird Type? Many themes run through out this book, such as Religion, courage, discrimination/prejudice, racism, innocence and most importantly the theme of the mockingbird, which represents in some way or another all of the former themes mentioned. Different people may have different perceptions to what a Mockingbird represents but in this book a mockingbird is a small innocent creature that, as Miss Maudie says: '...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 to enjoy. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.' The killing of an innocent as a horrendous crime in any age and any time, so likewise, 'it is a sin to kill a mockingbird', which represents innocence, in this story of innocence destroyed by evil. As we read further into the book we are made more aware of the fact that the two characters Tom Robinson and Arthur (Boo) Radley possess the same traits as a mockingbird, but it is only towards the end of the novel when Jem starts to realise the injustice of racism and the cruelty of Tom being condemned guilty, and Scout who connects the idea of Boo Radley being Mockingbird 'Well, it'd be sort of like shootin' a mockingbird'. ...read more.


By the end of the book the reader only feels sympathy for Boo and no longer sees him as a horrible, malicious giant but as something smaller, shy, unconfident, and weak. He is an ill man 'He coughed his dreadful railing cough, and was so shaken he had to sit down again' and when he is saving the children, Scout describes how she heard 'a man breathing heavily, breathing heavily and staggering' showing the weakness of himself because of having been 'caged up', like a mocking bird is weak because of its smallness. '...his thin frame to his torn denim shirt. His face was as white as his hands...his cheeks were thin to hollowness, his mouth was wide...eyes were so colourless I thought he was blind. His hair was dead and thin' This is the first time Scout ever sees Boo and it is the moment when her perception of him as being only something she'd imagined him to be, burly and wicked, changes to seeing him as he really is, insecure and frail. This is when he is totally revealed as a mockingbird, lonely 'lonelier then Boo Radley', and weak, delicate and defenceless. He only ever stayed out of the way of people, but as Jem grows to realise it is 'because he want to'. Like a Mockingbird stays out the way, sitting up out of reach in tree, singing for the people below, so does Boo Radley, who innocently never intends to hurt anyone, but his way of singing is his small gifts to the children. ...read more.


The idea of a mocking bird, has something to do with striving to fit in, because it does not have its own songs but copies other birds, to 'fit in'. 'A solitary mocker poured out his repertoire in blissful unawareness of whose tree he sat in, plunging from the shrill kee, kee of the sunflower bird to the irascible qua-ack of a blue jay, to the sad lament of Poor Will' Racism, discrimination and prejudice, which both Tom and Boo experience together, are based along a person being 'different' in some way or another and not conforming or fitting in with normal society, and this is exactly what Tom and Boo do, and because of this, one is murdered and one suffers and life of being caged up. They are both simple creatures, comfortable lifestyles that do not evolve around the people of Maycomb. Because they are different and people do not know them for who they truly are, they are unjustly persecuted. They are misunderstood, they hold little social value, and are generally assumed guilty. The symbolism of the mockingbird reveals the prejudice and narrow-mindedness of society, their fears of things different and the crimes the committed to innocent people. Before Scout falls asleep at he end of the book the describes the story which happens to someone falsely accused of doing something he never did, exactly like Tom Robinson and Boo Radley, the two mockingbirds of the story so wrongly treated by others, but when it comes down to it, it is 'only children who weep'. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Harper Lee section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Harper Lee essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    To Kill a Mocking Bird Essay. In the book, To kill a Mockingbird, Harper ...

    5 star(s)

    "Which, gentlemen, we know is in itself a lie as black as Tom Robinson's skin, a lie I do not have to point out to you. You know the truth, the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral; some Negro men cannot be trusted around women, black or white.

  2. Social Classes in To Kill a Mockingbird

    If there is any social outcast that can somewhat relate to those being classified by race it is women. Women have been fighting for as long as history can recall, to prove their equality in society. During the 1930's women had not yet gained acceptance as real individuals in society.

  1. Critical Essay on "To kill a Mocking Bird".

    In this time period boo covers scout with a blanket another example of his good deeds, and now the children seem almost convinced with boo's real personality, this penultimate encounter really setting in stone how they truly see him. Finally the children encounter an enraged Mr ewuel, where boo comes

  2. Prejudice in To Kill A Mockingbird

    Near the end of the novel, on their way home from a pageant, the children are attacked by Bob Ewell. Ewell, with full intention to kill the children, is stopped and killed by Boo Radley. The rescuing of the children's lives is seen as an act of courage and strength which truly distinguishes Radley the hero of the novel.

  1. A Comparison of the portrayal of Boo Radley in 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and ...

    His use of body language to get his message across across is slightly childish. When he is with Scout towards the end he wants go home, this is shown by "his hand tightened on mine and he indicated that he wanted to leave".

  2. Who is Atticus Finch? What is his purpose in Maycomb? Carefully and thoroughly, Harper ...

    As they passed under a street light, Atticus reached out and massaged Jem's hair, his one gesture of affection," (pg. 169) reminding his son, as well as the reader, that Atticus is capable of quietly expressing his fatherly love for his children while still shaping their moral guidelines.

  1. Scout, through involvements with three men, Arthur (Boo) Radley, Atticus Finch and Tom Robinson, ...

    she feels and teaches her more about what it means to grow up. He leads Scout step by step into becoming more mature, so she would be able to stand the pressure their townspeople will be giving them.

  2. Analysis of To Kill A Mockingbird from the aspects of literary elements and devices ...

    avoid Boo from being convicted thus it clearly depicts the wise action of protecting the goodness. One must always remember that human should always protect the goodness and the act of destroying it would be totally inexcusable. It is closely related to Malaysia?s context specifically in the issue of child abuse.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work