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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 Tom Robinson who are both attacked by the cruel society of Maycomb in different ways but are defenceless and cannot fight back. Mayella Ewell and Dolphus Raymond are symbolised as mockingbirds as well.

Arthur Boo Radley was not a very clever boy and while all the other boys went to a state school, he was imprisoned in his own home by his parents because of a crime he committed in his teen years. But just before his father passed away fifteen years later, it was said that Boo had stabbed his leg with a pair of scissors while cutting newspaper clippings for his scrapbook. Boo’s father Mr Radley, ‘the meanest man ever God blew breath into’, possibly due to his extreme religious views, that he ‘took the word of God as his only law.’ He did not send Boo to a psychiatric hospital but let him be locked in the courthouse basement for many years before he came home again. After his father had died, Boo was taken care of by his brother Nathan Radley. Though he was not as mean as his father, he still locked Arthur up in the house. There were many rumours flying around Maycomb about Boo, for example Jem described him as six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could,’ which suggests that he is wild and almost like an animal however these stories described by Calpurnia as ‘three fourths coloured folk and one fourth Stephanie Crawford’. We see how the children believe the false lies about Boo and are scared to go near his house, Jem said if Dill wanted to get himself killed, all he had to do was go on and knock on the front door.’ He becomes something fascinating for them; he is the town’s outcast and loner who is misunderstood. When Scout though she heard laughter coming from inside the Radley house, it is scary for her but we as readers eventually see that this laughter is innocent and from Boo, who was watching them play.

In fact, we see that he is a quiet, generous man, ‘he always spoke nicely to me, no matter what folks said he did’ and polite too. We see how Boo is also intelligent because he leaves a spelling medal he probably won in the knothole in the old oak tree along with the skilfully carved, beautiful soap figures, ‘they were almost perfect miniatures’ and other little treats. He leaves the gifts without expecting anything in return. His caring nature is shown further in the quote, ‘you didn’t know it when he put the blanket around you’ which is when Boo wrapped a blanket around Scout the night of the fire at Miss Maudie’s, the fact Boo did it so...

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