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The Mockingbird Theme In To Kill A Mockingbird, By Harper Lee

1040 words - 4 pages

This novel by Harper Lee has a seemingly curious title to a reader who looks at it in a literal way. Someone may argue that there are no mockingbirds in To Kill a Mockingbird but I beg to differ. An actual mockingbird may not play a large role in this story however the idea and connotation of a mockingbird becomes evident throughout the story in many characters. This is a major theme in the story and is shown through the characters Boo Radley, Mr. Raymond, and Tom Robinson all connected in the fact that they are innocent good hearted people corrupted by the evil surrounding them.

Scout and Jem Finch are introduced to the novel as well as the small town of Maycomb. “There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County. But it was a time of vague optimism for some of the people: Maycomb County had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear itself.”(5) In this introduction of Maycomb Scout expresses the slowness, the old southern values, and the lack of money during the Great Depression. In this small sleepy town Boo Radley is an excellent example of a mockingbird. Boo is a character which rumors constantly circulate around and who is actually feared without being known or even seen. Scout and Jem and their friend Dill let their imagination run wild with Boo and are intrigued but see him as an idea or a myth more of an actual human with feelings. Boo Radley is a victim to the people of Maycomb that create the ridiculous rumors. Boo has done nothing to deserve the harsh rumors besides having a cruel “foot-washing” Baptist of a father who does not allow him contact with anyone outside their home Miss Maudie is one of the only people besides Atticus who speaks kindly of Boo she says he was always polite and friendly as a child. She also says that most of the rumors about him are false, but that if he wasn't crazy as a boy, he probably is by now. Boo even leaves chewing gum for Scout and Jem in an Oak tree outside his house. The children one day find an Indian head penny in the same tree. Boo’s father then puts cement in the knothole where the children played the type of leaving and finding game, preventing Boo with any outside contact at all. Boo, like a mockingbird, did nothing besides entertain, whose innocent fun was destroyed by his evil father. Boo continues his good-hearted deeds putting a blanket around Scout in a later chapter and even rescuing Scout and Jem from Bob Ewell an enemy of their father. In this act of courage Boo the childhood phantom of Maycomb then becomes Boo the human being, no longer shrouded by the evil rumors and away from his evil father.

Mr. Dolphus Raymond is a peculiar character who lives on the outskirts of Maycomb County with his black wife and mulatto children. In...

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