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The mockingbird - The title of To Kill a Mockingbird has very little literal connection to the plot but it carries a great deal of symbolic weight in the book In this story of innocents destroyed by evil the mockingbird comes to represent the idea of innocence Thus to kill a mockingbird is to destroy innocence Throughout the book a number of characters Jem Tom Robinson Dill Boo Radley and Mr Raymond can be identified as mockingbirds Innocent people who have been injured or destroyed through contact with evil This connection between the novels title and its main theme is made clear several times in the novel After Tom Robinson is shot Mr Underwood compares his death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds and at the end of the book Scout thinks that hurting Boo Radley would be like shootin a mockingbird Most important Miss Maudie explains to Jem Mockingbirds dont do one thing but sing their hearts out for us Thats why its a sin to kill a mockingbird That Jem and Scouts last name is Finch another type of small bird indicates that they are particularly vulnerable in the racist world of Maycomb which often treats the fragile innocence of childhood harshly The most important theme of To Kill a Mockingbird is the books exploration of the moral nature of human beings-that is whether people are essentially good or essentially evil The novel approaches this question by dramatizing Scout and Jems transition from a perspective of childhood innocence In which they assume that people are good because they have never seen evil to a more adult perspective in which they have confronted evil and must incorporate it into their understanding of the world As a result of this portrayal of the transition from innocence to experience one of the books important subthemes involves the threat that hatred prejudice and
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