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"Remember, it's a sin to kill a mockingbird

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Introduction

"Remember, it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." These words, spoken by Atticus are the central theme of the novel, and the source of the novel's title. Miss Maudie further elaborates these words, by saying; "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but sing out their hearts for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." It is a very cruel thing indeed to kill, or even harm something that does not harm us; rather is a source of benefit for us, like these mockingbirds, that don't 'eat up peoples gardens, don't nest in corncribs, but make music for us to enjoy." In the novel we can identify several people as mockingbirds: good, innocent people who have been punished due to no fault of their own. ...read more.

Middle

The connection between Boo Radley and a mockingbird is made very clear, when Scout says that exposing Boo Radley, making his rescue of the children public 'would be like shooting a mockingbird', because you would be hurting him by depriving him of his privacy and bringing him into the limelight when he prefers to keep to himself. Even Boo Radley's description when Scout first lays her eyes upon him, is likened to a mockingbird, with feathery hair, fluttery hand movements, and an overall frail and delicate appearance. The second obvious 'mockingbird' in the novel is Tom Robinson, a black man who has been accused of raping a white woman. Tom Robinson has been portrayed as a hard working, honest, courteous, polite: basically an all around good person (all this can be judged by during his interrogation when he is being questioned by Atticus, and Mr. ...read more.

Conclusion

Tom Robinson, too, is directly linked to the idea of mockingbirds, when Mr. Underwood likens his death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds. Atticus is another important 'mockingbird', the ultimate symbol of the goodness within people. Unable to abide by the racial prejudice that is so prevalent in Maycomb, he agrees to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping Mayella, a white girl. Although he is only doing what is right, only siding with the truth, he is subjecting to innumerable taunts, and mocking, is the made the subject of ridicule and scorn, for daring to think and act differently even if it was the right thing to do. Even his own family turns against him, with his sister Alexandra criticizing his every move. Bob Ewell spits on his face. His children are subjected to verbal abuse; later the father of Mayella even tries to kill them. He is forced to go through all this torment and torture simply for doing what is right. ...read more.

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