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I believe the first reference to the mockingbird comes in Chapter 10 when Atticus, who has just presented his children with air rifles for their Christmas presents, warns Jem to
"Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember, it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."
Later in Chapter 10, Scout discusses her father's statement with Miss Maudie, who tells Scout that
"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy... That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."
The newspaper editor, Mr. B. B. Underwood, refers to birds in his editorial following the death of Tom Robinson in Chapter 25.
He likened Tom's death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children...
Finally, in Chapter 30, Scout recognizes the symbolism of the mockingbird in the simple nature of Boo Radley, who has just saved her life from the attack by Bob Ewell. She knows that Mr. Tate "was right" in calling Ewell's death an accident, since exposing Boo to the "spotlight" of a murder investigation would
"... be sort of like shootin' a mockingbird, wouldn't it?"
Yet another songbird is also mentioned often in the novel: the finch.
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