To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

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How does Atticus symbolize a mockingbird in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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The title, To Kill A Mockingbird, comes from these famous lines from the novel:

“Remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it.
“Your father’s right,” she said. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy...but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

In this quote, Atticus tells Scout and Jem that "it's a sin to kill a mockingbird," because mockingbirds are innocent, kind creatures that do nothing except try to make the world a better place with their music.

Atticus is much the same. Throughout the novel, Atticus Finch ("finch" also being a kind of bird) is portrayed as an honest, driven, and just man. He works tirelessly to do what's right and to teach his children to do the same. Even though he knows Tom Robinson will almost certainly be convicted, Atticus chooses to risk his reputation and his own personal...

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