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Mockingbirds: A Species Best Allowed To Live

1094 words - 5 pages

Humans: we are one of the only species that will injure our own kind for the sake of simple hatred and vengeance. Some of us are even willing to kill those who are innocent in order to secure our own safety. The destruction of innocence plays a major role in Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. The previous concept is introduced by the book’s title, and is portrayed throughout the novel as a major theme. It is vital to understand why it is a sin to kill a mockingbird when analyzing the plot, as several characters within this story can be likened to mockingbirds by their actions and other individuals’ reactions to them.
To begin with, it is important to comprehend why it is a sin to kill a mockingbird. Miss Maudie sums this up very well. After Scout questioned her as to why it is a sin, she stated, “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it is a sin to kill a mockingbird.” (p.90) By saying this, Miss Maudie Atkinson was implying that because mockingbirds do not cause any harm to the world, it is an offense to cause any harm to them. In all reality, it is not morally right to inflict pain or harm on a creature that does nothing but help the world; it does not seem plausible to do such a thing under any circumstances. This can be metaphorically extended to include not only actual mockingbirds, but also to include human beings. There are certain people in the world today who are here to help others, just out of the goodness of their hearts. Likewise, there were specific individuals in To Kill a Mockingbird who, at the least, did not cause harm, and oftentimes helped others. They were, in fact, like mockingbirds. However, they sometimes suffered greatly from the forces of evil. People were willing to damage these metaphorical mockingbirds just to cover up their wrongdoings or prejudice. To Kill a Mockingbird is a very relevant and significant title for the story that symbolizes the destruction of good, a theme which occurs often in the novel.
Now that it is known why it is a sin to kill a mockingbird, it is relatively easy to see that several characters within Harper Lee’s novel are very similar to the previously mentioned bird. One can see, for example, that the biggest man who is portrayed as a metaphorical mockingbird is Tom Robinson. Tom Robinson had never done a thing to Mayella Ewell that could have possibly caused her any harm. He did various tasks for her, just for the sake of being kind and courteous. In return for this, he was rewarded with a lawsuit that had him fighting for his life. He is the spitting image of what a person should behave like, how to be a true mockingbird, but all he received for his actions was condemnation from the community because of his skin color. He becomes a scapegoat. Late in the case, Atticus stated, “The state has not produced...

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