To Kill A Mockingbird

400 Words2 Pages
In To Kill A Mockingbird, the mockingbird is a symbol of innocence and purity. Throughout the novel, when innocents are destroyed by evil, the “mockingbird” comes to represent the idea of innocence. Thus, to kill a mockingbird is to destroy innocence. The symbol of the mockingbird is found all throughout the novel. “Mockingbirds don't do one thing but . . . sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.” (Maudie, 90). Maudie explains to Scout that killing a mockingbird is sinful because they are innocent creatures who do nothing to harm us. Boo Radley most represents the mockingbird and the theme ‘innocence should be treasured, not destroyed’. At first, Boo Radley appears to be big and scary. Stories went around about him, discriminating and degrading him, causing Boo to stay in his house and out of the public eye. Spreading the rumors about Boo was destroying his innocence. But as we read more of the novel, we see through Scout’s eyes that Boo is a lonely, gentle man. Boo leaves Jem and Scout treasures in the knothole of the tree in his yard. Boo covers Scout with a blanket while she stood outside in the snow watching Miss Maudie’s house burn down. Boo saves Jem and Scout, but kills Bob Ewell when Bob tries to hurt the kids. Atticus decides to keep Bob Ewell’s death a secret, because Boo didn’t intend to kill Bob. He was just trying to save the kids. It would be a sin to bring him to trial for the death of Bob Ewell, who he killed to protect Scout and Jem. Sending Boo to jail for that would be like “shootin’ a mockingbird” Scout says (276). The theme ‘Innocence should be treasured, not destroyed’ relates to the mockingbird symbol/Boo Radley correlation. The mockingbird is an innocent animal here for our pleasure. To kill it would be a sin. It should be treasured, not destroyed. Boo Radley is an innocent man who has done no harm.
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