Discuss the significance of the title to the novel. Include references to particular symbols, characters and situations. In the novel ‘To kill a Mockingbird’ Harper lee writes about many symbols, characters and situations. The title symbolizes the destroying of someone or something innocent. Tom Robinson, an innocent person at heart, but is being accused of rape. There is Atticus Finch, a man that everyone looks up to, but then some people think of him badly after the trial.
Lastly there is Boo Radley, all the kids in the neighborhood of Maycomb are afraid of this man, but really he is the one surprising Scout and Jem with special gifts and helping them when they never know. Tom Robinson is a black man who is accused of attacking and raping Mayella. Through out the story he is portrayed as the stereotypical black man that many don’t trust and afraid to be around. They were against believing the situation and most things that came out of his mouth. It was impossible for him to have committed a crime despite his injury. Tom was tired of taking white men’s chances and preferred to take his own” (260) Tom was really only trying to help Mayella but his colour and race made people think different. Tom Robinson is portrayed as a Mockingbird for these exact examples. He is an innocent man at heart and it should and would’ve been a sin to kill him. Atticus Finch is a lawyer at the center of events in the novel, his also the father of Jem and Scout. The people of Maycomb have the wrong idea of Atticus. Some look up to him, when others are against his words and decisions throughout the book.
Atticus does not brag about his achievements and is a great and loyal father to his children, he always sets them in the right direction “You just hold your head high and keep those fists down… Try fighting with your head for a change…even if it does resist learning” (Page 76) He is generally a fair man and try’s to deal fairly with all situations, especially in court. He never takes sides and respects the black people. “You’ll see white men cheat black men everyday of your life… no matter who he is… that white man is trash. (page 243) Atticus is portrayed as many different characters throughout the novel, many people view him differently. He relates to the title because it would be a sin to kill such a man with wise ideas and loving support to his family. Lastly there is Boo Radley, a mystery figure in Maycomb, does nothing to harm anybody but people still view him as a villain. Boo is somebody who just wants to be left alone in town, but Scout, Jem and Dill are always trying to figure out ways to find out more things about him. He is always looking over the children, weather they know it or not.
He leaves the kids presents in the oak tree, fixes Jem’s trousers after he tears them escaping through the Radley fence and gives Scout a blanket on the night of Miss Maudies house fire. “Well it’d be sort of like shootin a mockingbird wouldn’t it” (page 304) He stated it himself, it would be a sin to kill a mockingbird and Boo shows all the traits of a mockingbird, he gives pleasure to people even though he is never seen and as many people in town view him as a villain and mysterious man he is just trying to live a life, in privacy locked away.
These characters significantly show Mockingbird traits and relate to the title of this novel, they all show kindness, Boo to the children, Tom to Mayella and Atticus to town. They are all imprisoned and potentially vulnerable, these people should be treated with respect around town because it would be a sin to kill them.