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What other titles can you think of that would capture the theme of the movie rendition...
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"Prejudice and Tolerance" is a suitable title, although it sounds more like a Jane Austen novel. "Knowledge and Ignorance," "Guilt and Innocence" also work, but they are too overt; the reader knows exactly what the novel is going to be about. "Oh, this is about prejudice and tolerance; possibly racism. That part of the thinking is done for me." This goes against the whole point of the book.
So, I'd have to say that the title "To Kill a Mockingbird" is probably the perfect title. And I have to add that I really don't think there is such a thing as a perfect title or perfection, in general, in literature or film. But this title so perfectly fits this story because its initial ambiguity causes the reader or viewer to think. Before you read the story or see the movie, having no knowledge of it, the reader might think "What is a mockingbird? What is the metaphor, if there is one? Why is it wrong to kill a mockingbird? Does this stand for something else?"
The title is literal but a giant metaphor. The title itself implores introspection and encourages change of perception on the part of the reader. Therefore, the title reinforces the style of the movie as well because the movie is mostly about Scout's maturity and facing these questions herself. Calling the novel "Prejudice and Tolerance" is 1) too blunt and obvious and 2) goes against the theme and stylistic progression of the book which is about thinking and questioning: We learn, as Scout does, what "to kill a mockingbird" means.
Posted by amarang9 on December 15, 2010 at 4:55 AM (Answer #1)
High School Teacher
An intriguing question. Perhaps some of the more famous quotes from the novel might yield additional title ideas. Some examples:
Walk Around in His Skin (from what Atticus tells Scout – “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
Or, A Police Force of Children – when Atticus says about the courthouse crowd, “So it took an eight-year-old child to bring 'em to their senses.... That proves something - that a gang of wild animals can be stopped, simply because they're still human. Hmp, maybe we need a police force of children.”
Or, how about Only Children Weep, from another quote of Atticus: “I don't know [how they could convict Tom Robinson], but they did it. They've done it before and they did it tonight and they'll do it again and when they do it-seems that only children weep.”
In my opinion, the title To Kill a Mockingbird is perfect – much better than any of these suggestions – because it captures the essence of the book, innocence lost, wisdom gained.
Posted by lynnebh on December 15, 2010 at 4:57 AM (Answer #2)
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