May someone explain to me why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird?Just got done reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; and currently a bit confused on some parts. Help please.

Expert Answers
michelle-strobel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Your best bet is to reread chapter ten and look at what Miss Maudie is explaining to Scout.  By extension, you should be able to see that causing harm to harmless creatures is a sin.  In this novel you will find many examples of people who try to help others, most particularly Tom Robinson with Mayella Ewell and Arthur Radley with the Finch children.  Try to apply what Miss Maudie says to the two situations and you should be well on your way to understanding the symbolism of mockingbirds.  

jennaprior | Student

A mockingbird is a harmless bird that makes the world more pleasant. In To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the mockingbird symbolizes Boo Radley and Tom Robinson, who were both peaceful people who never did any harm.

The mockingbird symbolizes these two characters because it does not have its own song. Whereas, the blue jay is loud and obnoxious, the mockingbird only sings other birds' songs. Therefore, the mockingbird is seen through the other birds. The people of Maycomb only knew Boo Radley and Tom Robinson by what others said about them. Both of these characters do not really have their own "song" in a sense, and therefore, are characterized by other people's viewpoints.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question