Mockingbird Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird

Essay by TNgirl378Junior High, 9th gradeA+, August 2004

download word file, 2 pages 4.4 3 reviews

There are many different "mockingbird" characters in Harper Lee's classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Early on in the novel, Atticus tells his children to "shoot all the blue jays that you want, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird" (Lee 103). He says this because mockingbirds are known to be harmless creatures that do nothing but sing joyously. Lee cleverly uses this mockingbird imagery to title her classic novel and to describe characters that are kind, innocent people and have done nothing wrong, but are destroyed by the society around them.

The first "mockingbird" in this novel is Boo Radley. At the beginning of the story, Boo is a strange and mysterious person to both Jem and Scout. Because he is unknown and not very well understood, they suppose that he is a monster, along with most of the people in Maycomb. They make up unfair, gruesome stories and accusations about him because he is never seen or heard.

As the story progresses, one learns that Boo is a kind man who acts as a type of father figure to the children leaving them gifts in a knothole outside his home and repairing Jem's pants after he is shot at by Nathan Radley. He does not voluntarily stay locked up in his house, but is kept there almost as a prisoner by Nathan. At the end of the novel, Boo shows that he is very brave by saving the children's lives by killing their attacker Bob Ewell. It is decided by Maycomb's sheriff, Mr. Heck Tate, that nobody would tell about this murder because if they did it would be "like killing a mockingbird" because Boo is so shy and reclusive, never harming a soul until it is necessary (Lee 317)

The character of Tom...