Book Review: To Kill A Mocking Bird
The main reason for using the title “To Kill a mockingbird” is to bring out the theme of innocence. The mockingbird though small, is renowned for its ability to mimic the sounds produced by other animals. The bird innocently sings in the trees near houses and can at times be irritating which prompts people to kill it. However, the bird, just like any other animal is always innocent.
The central story in the novel concerns a black man (Tom Robinson) who had been unjustly accused of rape. In spite of insufficient circumstantial evidence, the courts are prejudiced and convict Tom of rape because he is black. He is later shot when trying to escape. His shooting typically matches the killing of mockingbirds which are simply shot. Tom is portrayed as being kind to Mayella to further prove his innocence. Tom is symbolized as a mockingbird and his shooting comparable to killing of the innocent bird which perfectly fits with the title of the book.
There are other several instances to affirm the title of the book. Just before Bob Ewell attacked Scout and Jem, a mockingbird sang (Lee 281). This was a portrayal of the children’s’ innocence. In another instance, Scout refers to Boo Radley as a mockingbird. She says, “it’d be like shooting a mockingbird, wouldn’t it?” (Lee 204). Radley was an innocent neighbor who was kind to children whenever they asked for his help. Radley had killed Rob Ewell to save the children from the malevolent Ewell. According to Buckroyd (4), this is a portrayal of how far some characters could go to protect destruction of the innocent “mockingbirds” in this case the Jem and Scott. In yet another instance, Jem decapitates camellias from Mrs. Dubose’s compound (Buckroyd 19). He picks camellias whenever she visits her sickly neighbor. Camellias like other beautiful flowers signify innocence and can be symbolized as mockingbirds.
One of the most famous quotes from the book is by Atticus. He says, “shoot all the bluejays you wantremember it is a sin to kill a mockingbird” (99). This was after he had bought his children air guns for Christmas. Atticus said this to imply that mockingbirds are never harmful however much they may irritate someone through their singing. He alluded that the birds simply sing their hearts out for people to enjoy and it is always a sin to kill them
Buckroyd, Peter. “To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee GCSE English Literature for AQA
Specification; Resource sheets.” Harcourt Education Limited, 2006
Lee, Harper. “To Kill a Mockingbird” Warner. 1960