To Kill a Mockingbird Assignment #2 – Arisa Hashimoto
2. Theme – Why is it a sin to kill a Mockingbird? Which two characters does the Mockingbird symbolize and why? Provide examples.
A mockingbird is an innocent creature which never harms us but instead sing for us. It represents kindness, innocence, and harmlessness. When Atticus gives Jem and Scout, his two kids air rifles for Christmas, he gets Uncle Jack to teach the kids how to shoot. Atticus warns them that they can “shoot all the blue jays”, but to remember that “it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” Scout was confused, so she approached her neighbour, Ms. Maudie. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” (Page 90) If you relate the meaning of killing a mockingbird to humans, it would mean to kill or take away the innocence of a person who is already innocent, such as Tom Robinson and Boo Radley.
In the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”, it shows us that Tom Robinson is one of the mockingbirds who gets killed. Tom, a black man, had gotten accused of raping Mayella, who is a white woman, even though Tom is innocent of his charges. As the trial goes on, Mr. Gilmore starts to ask questions to Tom. The way he was talking made him sound like he was making fun of him because of his skin colour. Instead of being polite and judging everyone equally like Atticus, Mr. Gilmore treats him badly by calling Tom “boy” and when he was questioning, he sneered at him, and made him say things so that he can prove to the jury that he was guilty. Dill says, “Well, Mr. Finch didn’t act that way to Mayella and old man Ewell when he cross-examined them. The way that man called him ‘boy’ all the time an’ sneered at him, an’ looked around at the jury every time he answered.” (Page 199)
It becomes clear that Tom Robinson is innocent because if.