How are Atticus Finch, Tom Robinson, and/or Boo Radley portrayed as mockingbirds? Give specific examples from To Kill a Mockingbird to support your answer.I need at least 5 examples. Anything would...

How are Atticus Finch, Tom Robinson, and/or Boo Radley portrayed as mockingbirds? Give specific examples from To Kill a Mockingbird to support your answer.

I need at least 5 examples. Anything would help. Thanks

Asked on by christy1995

2 Answers

bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

As the previous post noted, mockingbirds are innocent creatures who don't harm humans or their crops, only making beautiful music for people to enjoy. The author has created several symbolic, human mockingbirds in her story.

Boo Radley is one. He is accused of all sorts of nocturnal crimes, but there are actually no witnesses (Miss Stephanie's unreliable gossip notwithstanding) to any of Boo's supposed activities. He leaves gifts in the secret knothole in order to make friends with Jem and Scout, giving them pleasure and wonderment from the personal items they receive. He mends Jem's pants following the children's raid on the Radley House, and he warms Scout with a blanket on the night of Miss Maudie's house fire. At the end of the story, he saves both of the children's lives by fighting off, and killing, the murderous Bob Ewell.

Tom Robinson is another innocent accused of crimes he did not commit. A hard-working family man, Tom goes out of his way to help Mayella Ewell with an occasional chore, knowing that his appearance on the Ewell property may be hazardous to him. She repays his kindness by accusing him of assault and rape. Atticus' staunch defense seemingly proves his innocence, but the jury doesn't see it that way. When Tom can stand being caged no longer, he is shot dead--with seventeen bullet holes--by overzealous prison guards.

Atticus is forced to accept the defense of Tom Robinson--a case that he does not want to take. The fallout of his defending a black man accused of raping a white woman puts his life, and his family's, in danger. Sheriff Tate insists that he take the shot that kills Tim Johnson, the mad dog, even though Atticus has given up guns because he hates the thought of killing.  

J6's profile pic

J6 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

In the novel, the mockinbird is referenced to as an innocent creature with no desire to harm anybody: " Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, 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." Pg 99 and 10

Tom Robinson is a black person, and the mockingbird has grey to black plumage. In general, the mockingbird may represent the black community. For they have not done anything wrong, rather they have helped the Maycomb community. There is also the idea of harming somebody who is innocent.

Boo Radley is an innocent person as we discover at the end of the novel, similar to mockingbirds being innocent. Furthermore, Boo Radley, during the novel, Boo Radley isn't completely exposed to the reader yet. Boo provides Jem and Scout with presents but does not receive anything in return. Similar to mockingbirds, they do not receive anything in return either.

Atticus Finch is good and helps others, not expecting anything in return from them. This is quite similiar to mockingbirds.