Racist Taboos In Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

653 words - 3 pages

In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, there were many characters that played minor roles in the story, but had a big impact. All of the characters represent a certain theme or symbol. To Kill a Mockingbird is about the events of two young children through the eyes of a young girl named Scout. The pair are taught a variety of lessons from a variety of characters. These characters only come into view for a short time but have touched their lives forever.
Scout and Jem’s father, Atticus, is an ace lawyer who was asked to defend a black man named Tom Robinson. Tom was accused of raping a young white girl named Mayella Ewell. Tom Robinson ties into the symbolism of “killing a mockingbird” because his innocence resembles that of a mockingbird, and finding a victim like Tom guilty would compare to killing a mockingbird. Tom makes himself very suspicious, though, after he makes a remark during trial saying “looked like she didn’t have nobody to help her. Like I says… I felt right sorry for her” (264). Even though he truly did “feel sorry” for Mayella, no one believed him because he is a black man and it wouldn’t have been right for him to want to help a white woman just out of pure kindness.
Another minor character who has a very big role in the story is Arthur “Boo” Radley, the Finch’s neighbor. Boo has not come out of his house in more than fifteen years and there have been many strange stories told about him that make Boo appear to be a crazy, dangerous man. Jem and Scout have been watching Boo for awhile and one day Jem finally realizes why Boo might be acting so oddly: “I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in his house all this time… it’s because he...

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