To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

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In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee, the idea of innocents being destroyed by evil is presented to the reader. The story is narrated by young Scout Finch, an 8 year old girl who is considered an unusual tomboy in the prim and proper Southern community of Maycomb, Alabama. She is looking back in retrospect a number of years after the events of the novel take place. Maycomb is a sleepy, hot town with old-fashioned values, where Scout’s father Atticus is bringing up her elder brother Jem and herself while trying to protect them from the existence of social inequity in the town. To Kill a Mockingbird explores essentially whether people are good or evil, and portrays this by dramatizing Jem and Scout’s transition from a perspective of childhood innocence where they assume all people are good because they’ve never seen evil, to a more adult perspective where they have seen evil happen for no reason, and must incorporate it into their lives. As a result of this portrayal, an important subtheme in the novel is the threat that hatred and prejudice poses to the innocent; people such as Boo Radley and Tom Robinson were not prepared for the evil that they encountered and as a result were destroyed. Lee uses the symbol of the mockingbird effectively to portray the idea of innocents being destroyed by evil, as the mockingbird represents the idea of innocence, thus to kill a mockingbird is to destroy innocence. A number of characters can be identified as mockingbirds; however, the most significant mockingbirds are Tom Robinson and Boo Radley. “Remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. “Your father’s right,” she said. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy . . . but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin

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