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Analysis On "To Kill A Mockingbird"

1012 words - 4 pages

In "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, the mockingbird symbolizes Boo Radley and Tom Robinson, who were both peaceful people who never did any harm. To kill or harm them would be a sin. Scout's father, Atticus, tells Scout and Jem, "I'd rather you shoot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you'll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit' em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird"The mockingbird symbolises these two characters because it does not have its own song. The blue jay is loud and arrogant; where else the mockingbird only sings other birds' songs. Therefore, the mockingbird is seen through the other birds. The people of Maycomb only knew Boo Radley and Tom Robinson by what others said about them. Both of these characters do not really have their own "song" in a sense, and therefore, are characterized by other people's viewpoints.Boo Radley went through his life never wanting to hurt anyone. He left presents for Scout and Jem. He sewed Jem's pants and left them on the fence so he could get them easily. He also saved Scout's and Jem's lives while they were being attacked by Mr Ewell. Boo was a fragile and gentle person. Throughout the novel, Scout, Jem, and Dill are curious about the "mysterious" Boo Radley because he never comes outside from his house or associates with anyone in the neighbourhood. The children are afraid of him and consider him evil, because of all the stories they heard about him from the people in Maycomb. For example, Miss Stephanie tells the children that while Boo was sitting in the living room cutting a magazine, he "drove the scissors into his parent's leg, pulled them out, wiped them on his pants, and resumed his activities"They continually assume more about Boo because he never goes outside or plays with anyone. Boo Radley becomes a game for the children and they act out Boo Radley scenarios that they believed to be true. These stories were based on the gossip that was told through their neighbourhood. In reality, no one really knew anything about Boo Radley. At the end of the book, Scout finally meets Boo Radley after he helps her and Jem escape Mr. Ewell. She finds that the stories about him were not true. Essentially, she finds the songs that the neighbours were "putting into his mouth" were not true. She also finally realises what it means to put "yourself in someone else's shoes".Boo Radley can be compared to the mockingbird in the title of the novel. It is made clear (chapter 10) when Atticus and Miss Maudie explain that you should never kill a mockingbird because all it does is sing beautiful songs and never hurts anyone. Thus, Boo Radley is like a mockingbird as he never hurt anyone and primarily kept to himself. Yet, the townsfolk "kill" Boo Radley by persecuting and ridiculing him in society simply because he is shy and...

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