To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee-and the significance of the title.

Essay by slicknick88High School, 10th grade March 2004

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

Downloaded 38 times

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 a few people in this novel that can be called Mockingbirds.

One person that can be called a mockingbird is Tom Robinson. Tom is a young African American man who did nothing but try to help a young white woman by the name Mayella Ewell. Mayella had been attracted to Tom, and she acted on her emotions by kissing him. Mr. Ewell saw his daughter Mayella do this and beat her for it.

Mayella and her father claimed her bruises were from Tom and took Tom to court to have him prosecuted for a crime he did not commit. While defending Tom Robinson in court Atticus asked Mayella "What did your father see in the window, the crime of rape or the best defense to it?" (187). Because Tom was a black man the jury did not believe his side of the story. Tom figured that his only chance for survival was to try to escape. He was shot and killed by the police officers that chased after him.

Although Mayella Ewell lied while under oath in court against an innocent man, she can also be called a mockingbird. Mayella's only mistake was being attracted to a black man in an extremely racist community. Mayella was brutally beaten by her racist father after he saw her...