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In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee addresses many controversial issues Such issues as racism discrimination and social class are explored During the 1950s in the small county of Maycomb the mentality of most southern people reflected that of the nation Most of the people were racist and discriminatory In the novel these ideas are explored by a young girl Scout The readers see the events that occur through her eyes In the book Scouts father Atticus tells Scout and Jem Id rather you shoot at tin cans in the backyard but I know youll go after birds Shoot all the bluejays you want if you can hitem but remember its a sin to kill a mockingbird pg 69 The mockingbird is a symbol for two of the characters in the novel Tom Robinson and Boo Radley The mockingbird symbolizes these two characters because it does not have its own song Whereas the blue jay is loud and obnoxious the mockingbird only sings other birds songs Because the mockingbird does not sing its own song we characterize it only by what the other birds sing Hence we see the mockingbird through the other birds In the novel the people of Maycomb only know Boo Radley and Tom Robinson by what others say about them Both of these characters do not really have their own song in a sense and therefore are characterized by other peoples viewpoints Throughout the novel Scout Jem and Dill are curious about the mysterious Boo Radley because he never comes outside of his house or associates with anyone in the neighborhood The children are in fact afraid of him because of all the stories they hear about him from the people in Maycomb For example Miss Stephanie tells the children that while Boo was sitting in the living room cutting a magazine he drove the scissors into his parents leg pulled them out wiped them on his pants
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