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To Kill A Mocking Bird: Critical Essay Author: Harper Lee

537 words - 3 pages

References to the title in Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mocking Bird suggest that both Tom Robinson and Boo Radley are "mockingbirds." The reader is led to understand that the term suggests an innocent harmless creature that should not be made to suffer. Both Boo Radley and Tom Robinson fit such characteristics. Just like a mockingbird doesn't do anything but sing, both Tom Robinson and Boo Radley just help people out, never doing anyone any harm. However, they are still punished by society in one way or another. Killing a mockingbird is considered a sin, so one can say that Maycomb sins by inflicting injustice upon Tom Robinson and Boo Radley.Tom ...view middle of the document...

Because of Maycomb's mostly racist society, Tom Robinson looses his trial because he is black. In a sense, a connection can be drawn between Tom and a mocking bird. A mocking bird never causes anyone harm, just sings for all to hear, just like Tom Robinson never tries to hurt anyone and sometimes even helps people out. Mayella, along with the rest of Maycomb's society commits a sin by killing someone who never doesn't do anything wrong.Boo Radley also has the unfortunate luck of being a mockingbird that is the victim of prejudice. Boo never helped, anyone as openly as Tom Robinson did, but just like Tom, he never causes anyone problems either. All Boo does is stay quietly in his house, never emerging. However, just that is enough to arouse the suspicion of his fellow townspeople. Simply because he behaves differently from everyone else, he is looked upon negatively and untrue rumors about him get spread. For example, on page 11 it says that "Boo was sitting in the living room cutting some items from The Maycomb Tribune...As Mr. Radley passed by, Boo drove the scissors into his parent's leg, pulled them out and resumed his activities." Boo's case is not as serious as Tom's as he is never actually convicted of anything. Nonetheless, he faces prejudice from Maycomb, because his behavior differs from everyone else's.Both Boo and Tom are mockingbirds that are victims of the prejudice and ignorance of their fellow citizens. They both go to show the injustice that sometimes occurs in the world, and the helplessness of people to do anything about it.

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