• 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 - In what sense are Tom Robinson and Boo Radley considered to be the mockingbirds In this novel?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To Kill a Mockingbird: In what sense are Tom Robinson and Boo Radley considered to be the mockingbirds In this novel? 'To Kill A Mockingbird' was written by Harper Lee. The novel is set in 1930's America. In the 1930's America was still in the middle of an economic depression. In 1931 the number of unemployed people rose to thirteen million. The government distributed relief in the form of money, food, clothing and other necessities. The south was hit hard by the depression as the prices of cotton fell. Black people received relief last and were the first to be cut off from it. Most of the Blacks worked on the land, they were forced to do the dirtiest and worst paid jobs. Instead of wages, at harvest they would receive a share of the cotton crops. Before slavery was abolished, blacks were not allowed the privilege of going to school. Instead they would attend illegal schools. After slavery was abolished they were able to have an education, however in the South, blacks were not allowed to go to school with whites. Blacks schools were badly equipped and more crowded than whites schools. The separation of blacks and whites was called segregation. ...read more.

Middle

However, Maycomb County still convicted him and sent him to jail, even though evidence was read out in court, which proved Mr Ewell was the man that beat Mayella, not Tom. The jury did not consider this evidence while deciding if Tom was guilty or not, because they could not see past racism, as in the 1930's it was a part of normal life to them. Even after Tom's death in prison, people were still naive about Negroes. 'To Maycomb, Tom's death was typical. Typical of a nigger to cut and run. Typical of a nigger's mentality to have no plan, no thought for the future, just run blind first chance he saw.' Most of Maycomb knew Mr Ewell had a drink problem and he had hurt Mayella, they still condemned Tom as a 'typical nigger' and felt no sorrow for his family. Scout does not understand how the people in her town are so hypocritical as they claim they hate Hitler because he persecuted Jewish people, because of their religion, yet they punish blacks themselves for having a different colour skin. This is also representing innocence by using Scout's sympathy towards blacks. Arthur 'Boo' Radley lives in the Finches neighbourhood. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows how Boo was helping humanity, doing no harm like a mockingbird. When Scout first meets Boo, he does not say anything but shows what he wants with his body language. This shows how shy he is. Boo's true appearance is described as: ' I looked from his hands to his sand-stained khaki pants; my eyes travelled up his thin frame to his torn shirt. His face was as white as his hands, but for a shadow on his jutting chin. His cheeks were thin to hollowness; his mouth was wide; there were shallow, almost delicate indentations at his temples, and his grey eyes were so colourless I thought he was blind. His hair was dead and thin, almost feathery on top of his head.' This description makes him sound like a frail old man, instead of a monster. Finally Boo's label of 'monster' has been pulled away. The fact he is deadly quiet and the fact he hides in a dark corner away from the activity, helps prove how innocent he is. My conclusion is Tom and Boo are the mockingbirds in this novel, due to prejudice, racism and their innocence, innocence in more way than one. The only people in Maycomb who show sympathy and respect to these two 'mockingbirds' are the ones who are like them. They provide a 'service' to humanity, like the mockingbird. They are the Finches. ...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 Full Summary

    Jem tries to deliver the note with the fishing pole, but finds that it's harder to maneuver than he expected. As he struggles, Atticus arrives and catches them all. He tells them to stop tormenting Boo, and lectures them about how Boo has a right to his privacy, and they shouldn't go near the house unless they're invited.

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

    Another theme in this novel is 'courage'. We can recognise several types of courage in this novel. There is the basic courage required to overcome childish fears, such as running past the Radley place, "Jem said to Dill that if he wanted to get himself killed, all he had to do was go up and knock on the front door."

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird

    about her and what she is like start to fly as soon as she says this to the class. Even though she is from deep south Alabama, she is still prejudiced against because she is not from the tightly 'exclusive' county of Maycomb.

  2. Is To Kill A Mockingbird an Optimistic or Pessimistic Novel?

    This whole part of racism is very pessimistic as it shows that although blacks and whites are equal, the whites refuse to accept this and continue living their lives in the manner that their forefathers did. This attitude is then passed down to the next generation and would appear to be never ending.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird

    how the member of the white society liked this and were beginning to accept all races equal. However, a depressing element is shown in the attitude Aunt Alexandra has towards Calpurnia as unlike her brother and nephews, she does not consider Calpurnia a member of the family even thought Calpurnia always worked for the Finch family.

  2. 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

  1. Certain uncanny resemblances between Tom Robinson and Boo Radley's lives exist in Harper Lee's ...

    Therefore, no one wants to go on the land they own, because their values and lives could be risked by simply being near such a type of person. Tom and Boo live outside the bounds of Maycomb county as citizens, and their property becomes a threat to children and adults alike.

  2. How Does the Writer Use the Trial of Tom Robinson to Bring Out the ...

    The realization that there is true evil within their society shakes Jem to the core. He held a strong belief in the goodness of all people, but after the trial must re-evaluate his understanding of human nature and come to terms with disappointing realities of inequality, racism, and general unfairness.

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