To Kill a Mockingbird Theme Essay

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What do you consider to be a major theme of the novel? There are many themes in To Kill A Mockingbird; I believe that one of the major themes is the portrayal of mockingbirds. When Scout and Jem receive airguns for Christmas, Atticus tells them that although he would prefer that they practise their shooting with tin cans, if they must shoot at living things, they must never shoot a mockingbird. Atticus then explains that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird. “Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” This quotation reflects the title of the book ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and the theme also continues throughout the book. Miss Maudie further explains to the children why Atticus is correct. Mockingbirds don’t do any harm and are not pests in any way. All they do is sing beautifully and live peacefully. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy....That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” The mockingbird then comes to represent true goodness and purity. Tom Robinson is one example of a human “mockingbird”. He stands accused of raping and beating Mayella Ewell, the daughter of Bob Ewell, but is innocent of the charges. The town commits the ultimate sin by finding Tom guilty and sentencing him to death. In effect, they have killed a mockingbird. Boo Radley is another example of a human “mockingbird”. He has spent his entire life as a prisoner of his own home because his father was overcautious in punishing him for a mistake he made as a child. Boo Radley observes the world around him, causing no harm to anyone; he then goes on to save Jem and Scout’s lives when Bob Ewell attacks them. The sheriff, Heck Tate, determines that Bob Ewell’s death will be ruled as an accident to avoid forcing Boo to go to trial, even though Boo killed him to protect the children. Atticus agrees, and wants to make
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