Do you think the title of the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, is appropriate? Explain your answer.Please tell if you think it is or not, then please tell why you think that!   Thank you, everyone!

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

    In her novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee's title is a running theme and symbolic statement about man's treatment--or mistreatment--of his fellow man. It is a terrific title, since it sparks interest and intrigue because of its unusual nature.
    Early in the novel, Miss Maudie (not Atticus!) explains to Scout that

"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens. They don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."

Consequently, several characters come to symbolize the innocent and loving nature of the mockingbird. Most of the children--certainly Jem, Scout and Dill--are mockingbirds, as well as Tom Robinson and Boo Radley. The novel centers around the treatment of these characters and how all of them suffer life's outrageous misfortunes. They suffer from the sins of others, Boo and Tom quite tragically, and despite their own faultless innocence, it is destroyed by the evil around them. Mr. Underwood's editorial following the death of Tom Robinson reiterates this theme, that it is like

... the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children...

Scout later comments that harming Boo Radley would be akin to "shootin' a mockingbird." In the end, all of the human mockingbirds are affected by the cruelties of the world around them.

brandih eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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