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

To Kill A Mockingbird

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Write about the ways that Lee shows the significance of the title in 'To Kill A Mockingbird' In part one of 'To Kill A Mockingbird' (Mockingbird) Atticus tells Jem and Scout that "it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." The word "sin" suggests that it's a crime against God and alerts the reader to the importance of what Atticus is saying. It is Miss Maudie's further explanation, however, which enables us to link the mockingbird motif to 2 characters in the novel. According to Miss Maudie, mockingbirds "don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us." They simply make beautiful music for people to enjoy. They are innocent of wrongdoing (such as eating "up people's gardens"). Reading on through the novel, it therefore becomes obvious that the mockingbird is used asan analogy for Tom Robinson and for Boo Radley. Tom Robinson is a victim of racial prejudice; he ends up in court, fighting for his life, because he is accused of rape by Mayella Ewell. ...read more.

Middle

You, sorry and her are printed in italics to show that Mr Gilmer wants the jury to be outraged. He also uses simple clauses to get his message home. And succeeds. Lee writes "Below us, nobody liked Tom Robinson's answer." "Nobody" is used to show that the jury and the onlookers are united and horrified by Tom daring to feel sorry for a white woman. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that Tom is found guilty. The verdict is clearly foreshadowed, however, by Scout's reaction whilst waiting for the jury to return. She likens the atmosphere to "a cold February morning, when the mockingbirds were still." The reader remembers the incident of the mad dog, carefully placed before the trial in order to foreshadow later events. The dog is an analogy for racism; it is life-threatening because it is maddened by a disease which attacks the brain. Like prejudice. It is only Atticus who can stand up to this danger and try to end it. ...read more.

Conclusion

In particular, on the night when Boo saves their lives, she emphasises that "a solitary mocker poured out his repertoire" in the Radley tree. "Solitary" mimics Boo's isolation but the song foreshadows how he will save them. Because Bob Ewell attacks and tries to kill the children, Boo kills him but the Sheriff, Heck Tate, refuses to charge Boo, saying "that's a sin. It would be a sin..." The repetition of "sin" shows the passion of his feelings but also reminds us that it's "a sin to kill a mockingbird." Even Scout acknowledges that arresting Boo would be "sort of like shootin' a mockingbird." Here, the mockingbird also becomes a symbol for law and justice. Tom was unjustly found guilty and unjustly shot. However, Boo receives justice; he killed Ewell to save the children. In 'To Kill A Mockingbird', Harper Lee uses the mockingbird to symbolise how innocent people can be destroyed by prejudice. However, it can also be seen as a sign of hope; that sometimes justice is done. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Harper Lee essays

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird Lit Review

    "I- it's like this, Scout, ... Atticus ain't ever whipped me since I can remember. I wanta keep it that way."(56). "Atticus, you've never laid a hand on her [Scout] ." (88). Atticus never used physical discipline on his children; instead, he taught them and disciplined them verbally and found punishments that they would learn from.

  2. Discuss the importance of Boo Radley in relation to the themes and plot of ...

    Towards the end of the novel Scout sees Boo as a kind, gentle and heroic person. When Boo saves her from the evil clutches of Bob Ewell, her description of Boo changes, "his face was white as his hands...his cheeks were thin to hollowness; his mouth was wide; there were

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird Imagery and Symbolism

    Give examples from the text to support your ideas and explain what affects they have on you as the reader. Harper Lee uses imagery to explain the way that people look. For example, when Scout and Jem go to Mrs Dubose's house to read to her a story as Jem's

  2. To Kill a Mockingbird

    side of the story, the fact that many members of the black community like 'Calpurnia', Atticus' maid, acted as a bridge between the white and the black society, giving the reader some optimism. It gives the reader this happy feeling as it makes it deduce how one day in the

  1. To kill a mockingbird ch7-10 summary

    They make a caricature snowman converted soon into a hermaphrodite by Jem's inventor facility. The description conveys the children's energy, enthusiasm and humour. But the humour quickly changes to drama with the burning of Miss Maudie's house and the fear of the fire spreading.

  2. To Kill A Mockingbird

    An example of this is when Mr Dolphus Raymond sends two of his 'mixed' children up to the northern half of America because of the disrespect that they receive in Maycomb: '...he's shipped two of his up north. They don't mind 'em up north...'

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird

    She was writing about cultural events and things that only appeared in the news. She was saying where she stood in the civil rights argument. Originally, the book was written in the 1960's, but was set in the 1930's. Harper Lee interrelated Maycomb with her hometown Monroeville, Alabama, Scout perhaps represents author, and Lee's father was a lawyer by profession.

  2. To Kill a Mockingbird's Racial Feature

    They hanged black people for public entertainment and unfortunately, at the time, they had many supporters. After a few years, this group diminished its actions and it died down. It unfortunately came back strong in the 1920s and 30s. This group, unfortunately, became much more organised and changed from just

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