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Tkam Mockingbird Essay

1239 words - 5 pages

Maycomb’s Little Mockingbirds
A mockingbird is an innocent and harmless animal yet they are sometimes vulnerable. Although, people may not realize it, but there are many human representations of mockingbirds living in society. In the story To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, there are two main examples of these representations, Boo Radley and Tom Robinson. Boo Radley is a young white man who has been living in isolation while Tom Robinson, a young black man is falsely accused of raping a white woman. Innocence and judgment of both characters in the town further demonstrates who is more like a mockingbird. Throughout the story it is undeniable that Boo Radley symbolizes more of a ...view middle of the document...

Mr. Underwood is trying to explain to the citizens of Maycomb County that Tom’s death is like that of a mockingbird - which they believe to kill one, is a sin through his article. If Mr. Underwood knows of Tom’s innocence and his death as being a “senseless slaughter” then the people of Maycomb most likely know as well. Although both Tom Robinson and Boo Radley show innocence in To Kill A Mockingbird, Boo Radley is obliviously illustrated as more of an innocent character. A mockingbird is clearly innocent, however the judgment vulnerability and the way others think of it may prove otherwise.

In Maycomb, the status of people is solely based on the judgment of others. In Boo Radley’s case, he is vulnerable because of his status in the town. In To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee visions him as a troublesome young man who removes himself from society because as Jem later identifies, he wants to. In the novel, the children of Maycomb believe that Boo Radley is supposedly a rodent and cat eating man who is ugly, and will kill any child he sees coming. Although his real name is Arthur, the town’s people call him Boo because they view him as a ghost character. His isolation begins when he gets in trouble with the law and his father decides to imprison him in their house. Later, rumours are spread that after fifteen years of imprisonment, he stabs his father with a pair of scissors. At the end of the novel, Scout reflects on the rumours and horrid things that people say about Boo Radley and realizes that it is all a lie. She says “Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough” (Lee 374). Maycomb County - like many other states at the time is very racist, which adds to the vulnerability and how others perceive Tom Robinson. Tom is a twenty five year old black man whose arm is crippled because of an accident he had when he was younger. Subsequently, Tom is later falsely accused of raping a white woman named Mayella EwelI. During his trial, Tom tells the jury that he helped Mayella because he feels sorry for her. In his trial, Scout and Jem believe that he is convicted because he is black. In the end, he goes to jail and is shot seventeen times attempting to escape because he loses faith in people to believe his side of the story. After Mr. Underwood’s obituary...

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