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Dying Mockingbirds Essay

748 words - 3 pages

“To kill a mockingbird is a sin.” (113) To Kill a Mockingbird is a timeless American classic novel, by Harper Lee, and the title has large significance in the novel’s plot and theme. The title of To Kill a Mockingbird is a very significant part of the novel, and relates to the early plot of the novel, along with Boo Radley and Tom Robinson, while also helping the reader to connect the theme to modern issues in today’s society.
The title, To Kill a Mockingbird is very crucial to the novel, and relates directly to the opening chapters of the novel. Killing a mockingbird is very similar to what Scout, Jem and Dill did in the early portion of the novel to Boo Radley, Boo Radley being the mockingbird. Lee helps symbolize Boo Radley as a mockingbird through characters’ speech where he is first described as “[speaking] nicely,” therefore showing the reader that Boo Radley may not be the monster that he has been made out to be by Scout and the townsfolk, he may actually be a “mockingbird.” (61) Boo Radley is also symbolized as a mockingbird when he fixes Jem’s ripped pants, despite Jem having been spying on him and bothering him. When Miss Maudie talked about Boo Radley in a positive light, and when Boo fixed Jem’s pants, it helped symbolize him as a mockingbird. In fixing Jem’s pants, it helped to humanize Boo, he was no longer this monster that the children had described, he was just a man; in other words, it humanized him to the reader. This really showed how the title directly relates to the characters and plot of the early portions of the novel. To understand any part of a novel, an understanding of the characters is necessary, and the title, To Kill a Mockingbird, helps the reader understand the characters.
To kill a mockingbird causes readers to compare characters to mockingbirds, which helps the reader understand these characters. One mockingbird was killed, Tom Robinson. When asked about Tom Robinson’s innocence, Atticus plainly stated that Tom Robinson was “an innocent man.” (171) The mockingbird is a symbol of innocence, and to kill a mockingbird is to kill innocence, and society killed a true mockingbird when they killed...

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