The Significance Of The Title Of To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

1702 words - 7 pages

The Significance of the Title of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The title of this novel is 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and throughout the
book the word mockingbird appears several times. The mockingbird is
the most significant symbol in the novel. The motif of the story is
the innocent creature of the mockingbird. What is a mockingbird? A
mockingbird is a type of finch. It is a small plain bird and has a
beautiful song. It got its name because its beautiful sing 'mocks'
other birds.

The mockingbird idea first comes about in chapter 10,when Atticus is
telling the children how to use their shotguns. He tells them:

"Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em. But remember
it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."

It was very unusual for Atticus to say something like this, as he
never tells Scout or Jem that anything is a 'sin'. This makes Scout a
bit surprised and so Miss Maudie explains that it is because
mockingbirds are neither harmful nor destructive and only make nice
music for people to enjoy. Here is what she said:

"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They
don't eat up peoples gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do
one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to
kill a mockingbird."

In chapter 10, Tim Johnson the rabid dog is slowly walking up the road
and all the people of Maycomb are waiting for him to appear, waiting
for what is about to happen. The mockingbird idea comes up when it
says:

'The trees were still, the mockingbirds were silent, the carpenters at
Miss Maudie's house had vanished.'

I think that the mockingbirds in this situation are all of the
innocent people of Maycomb waiting for this rabid dog (Tim) to come up
the road. They haven't done anything wrong and are scared that they
may get hurt or something bad may happen when the dog appears.

Another time the mockingbird idea comes up is in chapter 21,when
everyone is in the court room waiting for the verdict on whether Tom
Robinson has been found guilty or not. Scout describes the atmosphere
in the courtroom like this:

'The feeling grew until the atmosphere in the court-room was exactly
the same as a cold February morning, when the mockingbirds were still
and the carpenters had stopped hammering on miss Maudie's new house.'

I think that when Scout talks about the atmosphere being like a cold
February morning she is describing the tension in the room. When
everyone is still and silent. When Scout says that the mockingbirds
were still I think that she was referring to Atticus and Tom Robinson.
I think this because Tom is waiting to see if he has been found guilty
or not and Atticus is waiting to see if he has won his case. They are
both deadly still and anxious to hear the verdict. They have been
regarded as mockingbirds...

Find Another Essay On The Significance of the Title of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To kill a mockingbird Harper Lee The Maturity Of Scout And Jem In To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

563 words - 2 pages "It is a sin to kill a mockingbird because they do nothing but make music for us to enjoy." This was quoted from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, a creative novelist. To Kill a Mockingbird is about a young girl named Jean-Louise Finch, her brother Jeremy Finch and many other characters. Jean- Louise is nick-named Scout and Jeremy is nick-named Jem. Their father Atticus ,who was a lawyer, had been given a case to handle and did not have any

To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee The signifigance of the title

953 words - 4 pages Untitled In Harper Lees novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, Miss Maudie explains the significance of the title when she says "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat people's gardens, don't nest in the corncrib, they don't do one thing but just sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."(90) While not directly saying this is about a

Title of Essay: Modern Day Hero or Zero Book: To Kill a Mockingbird By Harper Lee

1039 words - 4 pages Rosenberg PAGE 4 Morgan RosenbergMs. SolomonENGDG1 7 December 2007Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird focuses on character Atticus Finch; a middle age man, a lawyer, and a father of two. Many have suggested the notion that this character is a modern day hero. However, before one can claim someone to be a modern day hero, they must first know what the phrase means. A modern day hero is defined as a focused, thoughtful, selfless and respectful

The Title of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

1216 words - 5 pages The novel is written by Harper Lee The title, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is a very fitting title for the novel, because the story revolves around the idea of innocence being lost, destroyed by evil and the cruelty of a narrow-minded society. Mockingbirds are harmless creatures that ‘don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us,’ but it is powerless against its attackers. The main mockingbirds in the novel are the characters, Boo Radley, and

The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck and To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

1666 words - 7 pages and their way of life and illustrates that the vagrants from Oklahoma are yearning for labor, provisions, and human decency. Similarly in To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee elucidates the concept that people should be treated with inclusive human dignity and be affected and influenced by good aspects rather than deleterious behavior. In addition to both novels, “Suffering with Them”, “Evil’s Fate”, and “To Hope” share the same concurrent theme. To

"To Kill a Mockingbird", by Harper Lee: How does Harper Lee present the Black Community in Chapter 12 of 'To Kill A Mockingbird?

1190 words - 5 pages "To Kill A Mockingbird" is a Pultzer Prize winning novel set in the 1930's. This novel written by Harper Lee expresses the racism and prejudice at this time. In chapter 12, Calpurnia, who is a black maid working in a white household, takes Jem and Scout to her church. This allows Harper Lee to present the Black Community in more detail.The first view of the black community that Harper Lee presents to us is a very positive one. The author makes

The Mockingbirds in To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

2683 words - 11 pages Walt Whitman’s 1859 poem “Out of the Cradle Rocking Endlessly” depicts the mockingbird as a symbol of innocence that chants or sings of fond memories from the past. By contrast, Harper Lee’s famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960, written almost a century after Whitman’s poem, portrays the mockingbird as innocent but as a fragile creature with horrific memories – memories of discrimination, isolation, and violence. Harper Lee

Analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

1727 words - 7 pages Analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee In 1960, Harper Lee published her critically acclaimed book To Kill a Mockingbird. Only a year after being published the American classic novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in fiction as well as the Brotherhood Award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Gregory Peck stared as Atticus in the successfully adapted 1962 motion picture of To Kill a Mockingbird that won an

Analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

1340 words - 5 pages Analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee is a story of national magnitude that contains complex characters. Harper Lee deals with the emotions and spirits of the characters insightfully. A few of these characters display courage at one point or another in the story. These flashes of courage come during turbulent times of the story, and often led to success. Atticus Finch displayed

ESSAY: The theme of human dignity in the novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

1504 words - 6 pages Throughout history, people are often ranked and criticized by society. An individual's nationality, wealth and social status were closely looked over by society's eye. Thus, one's dignity would be decided based on society's opinion of them. In the novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the theme of human dignity is portrayed by Scout, Calpurnia, and Atticus. This essay will analyze the theme of human dignity and describe how this novel

The Themes in "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee

1116 words - 4 pages The novel To Kill a Mockingbird succeeds in portraying the lifestyle of a relaxed southern town in theearly 20th century. It shows the families, feelings, and bigotry of the time. There are three main themes in the novel,which are: justice is not blind, mob rule is not the way to solve things, and that you shouldn't fear or resentsomething that hasn't done anything to disturb life. These themes are true in the novel and are also true in

Similar Essays

The Significance Of The Title, 'to Kill A Mockingbird' By Harper Lee.

724 words - 3 pages When the author is choosing the title of a novel, they have to make sure it stands out, but is still relevant to the story, it also has to evoke interest in someone who casually looks at the book. It has to hint at what the story is about, but not give it all away. Harper Lee is successful in this, by titling the book, "To Kill A Mockingbird". The title attracts potential readers, as well the symbolism it infers. The children are told that it is

The Title Of To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

1591 words - 6 pages The Title of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee In the novel 'to kill a mockingbird' Harper lee uses a metaphorical mockingbird to symbolise the different characters and actions within her book and to symbolise why people get the treatment they do and how they don't deserve it. The reader begins to understand the meaning of the title of the book through the personified mockingbird being used numerous times throughout

To Kill A Mocking Bird By Harper Lee And The Significance Of The Title.

568 words - 2 pages The title "To Kill a Mockingbird" is very significant to the theme of this novel. Atticus explains to his children "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, they don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird"(90). The word mockingbird can also be used to signify someone who does no harm to anyone. There are

The Mockingbirds Of To Kill A Mockingbird, By Harper Lee

610 words - 2 pages a very nice man, just at the wrong spot at the wrong time, and is just an easy target in an all-racist-town. Just because Tom Robinson is black, he is looked down upon as bad person but that is not true. Out of all the characters in the novel to Kill A Mockingbird, the main mockingbirds were Boo Radley, Mrs. Dubose, and Tom Robinson. All of these characters are really good hearted people. They are all just misunderstood and corrupted by the talk of society. Tom is African American, Boo Radley is a mysterious man who is not as religious as Maycomb wants him to be, and Mrs. Dubose is looked down upon because of her addiction.