zh
zhettinger
updated 1 month ago

Why is it a sin to kill a mockingbird? What does a mockingbird represent? What are other explanations of this symbolic title?

First, I thought it is somehow connected to Hunger Games)) To my surprise this book is much better! But I still need help with its symbols.

1 Answer
nr
nrodriguez
updated 1 month ago

Killing a mockingbird is unethical. The central question that arises in the case is why a person would kill a mockingbird that does not do any harm to anyone. However, the bigger question from the story is whether the mockingbird represents something else that is beyond just a bird.

        In the tenth chapter of the book, Atticus reveals to Jem that he should not kill a mockingbird whenever he goes out and shoots at blue jays because it is considered to be a sin. Confused by Atticus’s words, Jem asks Miss Maudie on what his words could probably mean. Miss Maudie reiterates and agrees with Atticus and indicates that mockingbirds are not errant and that their role is to sing music that human beings enjoy. The Mockingbirds do not destroy people’s gardens, nor do they nest in corncribs. Most importantly, the mockingbirds sing their hearts out to humans.

        The explanation by Miss Maudie on why one should not kill a mockingbird is symbolic of the fact that it is immoral to harm an innocent person. In a hypothetical society, immorality translates to sin. A classic example of a mockingbird is Tom Robinson whose death is caused by an external force despite his innocence. The racial discrimination and stereotyping that is evident in the society of the novel’s setting looks down upon the black community and attributes wrongdoings to the black people. In the face of morality, the racial prejudice that results in the death of black people is equated to the act of killing a mockingbird, which is sinful.