Sin To Kill A Mockingbird Essay

530 Words3 Pages
In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the author, Harper Lee has used symbolism with emotive language, frequent use and symbolising people to help the reader understand the timeless idea of how infested with prejudice people and societies can be. The word ‘sin’ is used in “it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird,” rather than a word like ‘wrong’ because of the strong negative connotations associated with it. These make the reader understand how unforgivable it is to ‘kill a mockingbird’ which is a symbol representing innocent people that are harmed undeservedly. Using a powerful word such as ‘sin’ conveys the extent of the evil shown by those who ‘kill mockingbirds’ with prejudice. An example of this are the rumours circulating around the “tired, old town” of Maycomb about the recluse ‘Boo’ Radley. People invent malicious and untrue stories such as “ he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch,” just because ‘Boo’ is different. This helps the reader to see…show more content…
This allows the message to sink into the reader. The title of the novel is an obvious indicator to the author’s purpose which is to criticise prejudiced societies and people in the world. The mockingbird symbol is referred to by a variety of characters; from Atticus to Miss Maudie to Mr Underwood who “likened Tom’s death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds”. Atticus’s message against harming those who have done no wrong is passed on to his son Jem who advises Scout to let a roly poly bug live “because they don’t bother you.” By doing this, Atticus exhibits that all it takes is the power of one to make a change to overcoming prejudice in people. His courage in defending ‘coloured’ Tom Robinson in a court case and enduring insults such as “nigger-lover,” helped to bring about the beginning of change in Maycomb. The frequent use of the ‘mockingbird’ symbol ensures the message about the timeless cruelty of prejudice is conveyed to the
Open Document