To kill a mockingbird is a sin because they don’t harm anyone at all; all they do is sing and make beautiful tunes so why should they be killed? The title of the novel is explained in a secret way throughout the book but not openly explained. The mockingbirds of the story are Tom Robinson and Boo Radley. Tom Robinson, a black man, was accused of raping a white lady named Mayella Ewell. Tom was taken to court by her father, Bob Ewell, and he told the truth about the raping of his daughter.
Innocence Destroyed by the Evil of Mankind In Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Tom Robinson and Boo Radley symbolize mockingbirds that “sing their hearts out for us” (90), but mimic other bird’s songs. Since mockingbirds have no song of their own, they are judged by what other birds sing. Neither Boo nor Tom has their own song and they are labelled through silent gossip and hurtful actions from Maycomb citizens. Boo Radley is a mockingbird because he is seen as a “malevolent phantom” (8), judged by his lifestyle of not leaving his house. Tom Robinson is seen as a rapist, judged by the colour of his skin.
To Kill A Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee, is a novel which utilises the symbolism of a mockingbird throughout the text. Mockingbirds are gentle, harmless creatures, therefore making it “a sin to kill a mockingbird” as Atticus so proudly announces. Lee depicts a dysfunctional American society with a narrow-mindedness towards racial segregation and inequality, and uses the imagery of the mockingbird to symbolise the destruction of innocence, This representation can be seen within Tom Robinson, who was killed by corruption within the system and racial prejudice, Boo Radley, who was slain by society’s judgement towards those who don’t conform, and Dill, who shows the happiness a mockingbird can bring, flitting in and out of one’s life, and then his loss of innocence after the trial.
No one could possibly say Tom was the one who has beaten Mayella up. Moreover, when Atticus asked Bob to write his name down on a piece of paper, Bob used his left hand instead of the right distinctively and inconsiderably. That's again evidence against the deceitful Ewells. Bob is the one who is likely to have beaten his daughter up, not the poor Tom. The Ewells' plan was revealed transparently.
Although Boo Radley shows just what a substantial person he has become, he is still misjudged by the society. This is proved when Boo Radley saves Jem’s life by killing Mr.Ewell and Atticus says it wouldn't be right to expose him and Scout vocalised, “ It would be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird, wouldn’t it?”. So when Atticus kept the information of Boo to himself, he really believed that Boo Radley was an innocent man who caused no harm to anyone and therefore shouldn’t be persecuted, as he has been illtreated his whole life. The aim with mockingbirds in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, is that mockingbirds should not be killed as they only exist for the enjoyment of others and cause no harm and only minded their business. Another way in which Harper Lee uses the mockingbird as a symbol is through Tom Robinson.
"-Jem (240) They begin to understand Boo and that helps them realise (Chapter 26 “Boo Radley was the least of our fears,) Atticus says in pg 217 “The witnesses for the state have presented themselves to you gentlemen, to this court, in the cynical confidence that their testimony would not be doubted, confident that you gentlemen would go along with them on the assumption-the evil assumption-that all Negroes lie, that all Negroes are basically immoral beings, that all Negro men are not to be trusted around our women, an assumption one associates with minds of their caliber. 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
Harper Lee’s theme can also be comprehended through the symbol of the mockingbird. When Atticus gifts his children with air soft guns he advises them that if they went shooting for birds he tells them, "shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird" (96). Miss Maudie furthers Atticus’s explanation by saying, "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" (96).
Many people around town from adults to kids, friends to stranger, and even family have harsh things to say about their father’s decision to defend Tom Robinson. Atticus’ moral standards and genuinely good heart give him the encouragement he needs to avoid his critics and do what he knows to be the right thing. Scout and Jem on the other hand, have less experience and don’t know how to take the criticism. On one instance, around Christmas, Scout gets in a fight with her cousin Francis after he makes fun of Atticus and calls her a very rude name. “This time, I split my knuckle to the bone on his front teeth.” (Page 96) Scout was punished for her reaction, but this experience helped her learn how to be the bigger person and control her anger toward people who are harsh toward
“Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.” – Thomas H. Huxley The novel To Kill a Mockingbird told an unforgettable story of doing what a person thought was right no matter what the cost. Author Harper Lee used the character Atticus Finch to show a rejection of authority when he went against the social codes in his town and defended a black man in court. Lee showed Atticus’s penetrating defense that ended up revealing the town of Maycomb’s inherit racism. Atticus Finch challenged social justice and prejudice by defending Tom Robinson just as he would any other person. Atticus’s whole town went against him because he was defending a man of a different race.
The Light in Maycomb In a town filled with poverty, racism and hate is a tiny bit of hope that lies on the shoulders of the honest Atticus finch. He is the defender of all that is good and pure in Maycomb. But with good there is always evil, and Mayella happens to fall in the evil category. She herself isn't necessary sinister, but the actions she commits only fuels the hate and prejudiced of the town which eventually condemns a man. In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, there are two very distinctly different groups, the group of good and then the group of evil.