The Significance of the Title of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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The Significance of the Title of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The title of this novel is 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and throughout the book the word mockingbird appears several times. The mockingbird is the most significant symbol in the novel. The motif of the story is the innocent creature of the mockingbird. What is a mockingbird? A mockingbird is a type of finch. It is a small plain bird and has a beautiful song. It got its name because its beautiful sing 'mocks' other birds.

The mockingbird idea first comes about in chapter 10,when Atticus is telling the children how to use their shotguns. He tells them:

"Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em. But remember it's a sin
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They haven't done anything wrong and are scared that they may get hurt or something bad may happen when the dog appears.

Another time the mockingbird idea comes up is in chapter 21,when everyone is in the court room waiting for the verdict on whether Tom Robinson has been found guilty or not. Scout describes the atmosphere in the courtroom like this:

'The feeling grew until the atmosphere in the court-room was exactly the same as a cold February morning, when the mockingbirds were still and the carpenters had stopped hammering on miss Maudie's new house.'

I think that when Scout talks about the atmosphere being like a cold February morning she is describing the tension in the room. When everyone is still and silent. When Scout says that the mockingbirds were still I think that she was referring to Atticus and Tom Robinson. I think this because Tom is waiting to see if he has been found guilty or not and Atticus is waiting to see if he has won his case. They are both deadly still and anxious to hear the verdict. They have been regarded as mockingbirds because both Atticus and Tom are innocent characters that have done nothing wrong.

Also another place in which the idea of mockingbirds appears is in chapter 25,when Mr Underwood is talking about Tom Robinson's escape and death. He seems very opposed to Tom being shot, as he was a cripple. In the newspaper article he wrote he said

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