Name three charactes that relate to the symbol of the mockingbird. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRDI need to write an essay and I need qoutes to prove that is true so please someone help me?

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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To prove that Tom Robinson is "a mockingbird," you may wish to reread the chapters that deal with the trial.  Find passages that can define what post#2 defines as "the act of harm done to someone who never wanted to hurt anyone."  For instance, in Chapter 18 Maybella obviously fabricates the incident in which Tom puportedly choked her and beat her.  In court Atticus questions her and her lies are apparent as she hedges:

'You seem sure enough that he choked you.  All this time you were fighting back, remember?  You 'kicked and hollered as loud as you could.'  Do you remember his beating you about the face?'

Mayella was silent.  She seemed to be trying to get something clear to herself.  I thought for a moment she was doing Mr. Heck Tate's and my trick of pretending there was a person in front of us.  She glanced at Mr. Gilmer.

'It's an easy question, Miss Mayella, so I'll try again.  Do you remember his beating you about the face?....

'No, I don't recollect if he hit me.  I mean yes I do, he hit me.'

'Was you last sentence you answer?'

'Huh?  Yes, he hit--I just don't remember, I just don't remember....it all happened so quick.'

In contrast to Mayella's testimony, the crippled Tom Robinson's does not waiver.  In Chapter 19 Tom answers the questions of Atticus Finch candidly and succinctly:

'Did you ever...at any time, go on the Ewell property--did you ever set foo on the Ewell property without an express invitation from one of them?'

'No suh, Mr. Finch, I never did.  I wouldn''t do that, suh.'

Scout comments that she applies Atticus's measure of determining if a person is telling the truth by listening rather watching:

I applied his test--Tom denied it three times in one breath, but quietly, with no hint of whining in his voice, and I found myself believing him in spite of his protesting too much.

The discomfort of Tom in relating what has happened at the Ewell place continues and Tom is reluctant to say anything against Mayella or her father; he only does so when ordered to do it.  Tom's predicament worsens as he describes what happens; his entrapment comes when he says that he felt sorry for Mayella near the end of Chapter 19.

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Boo Radley, Tom Robinson, and maybe Dill.  Focus on people who are unfairly treated for some reason or another.  Tom obviously didn't deserve to be accused or convicted for rape when he never touched Mayella Ewell--it was all because of his color that he got the treatment he did. His death is also especially unfair.  Dill has similar situations with his home life, although he is not black and he doesn't die.

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jessecreations | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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I think the most obvious character is Boo Radley.  He has had some difficulties in his past, but he chooses to live his life in isolation, only venturing out when one of the kids is in danger or needs help.  At the end of the novel, when Atticus and Heck Tate discuss what to do about Bob Ewell's death, they determine to say it was an accidental suicide in order to protect Boo.  If he were to be named as Ewell's killer, people would probably react positively (except perhaps the Ewell family) because he would have saved the children from a killer.  The problem with that, however, is that Boo has never wanted to be in the spotlight; he shies away from attention whenever he can.  So to name him publicly in such a way would be to force him into the middle of a huge situation that he would not want to be in.  When Heck and Atticus realize this, they also understand that it would be similar to the idea of killing a mockingbird because it is an act of harm done to someone who never wanted to hurt anyone.  The prejudice Boo has endured throughout his lifetime also goes along with the mockingbird symbol.

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kellyklark | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

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I would also say that Atticus is a symbol of a mockingbird because all he does is good and never does anything bad.  People are criticizing him becuase he is standing up for a black man.  Atticus is just being good and has no reason to be put down by people.

kellyklark's profile pic

kellyklark | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I think the most obvious character is Boo Radley.  He has had some difficulties in his past, but he chooses to live his life in isolation, only venturing out when one of the kids is in danger or needs help.  At the end of the novel, when Atticus and Heck Tate discuss what to do about Bob Ewell's death, they determine to say it was an accidental suicide in order to protect Boo.  If he were to be named as Ewell's killer, people would probably react positively (except perhaps the Ewell family) because he would have saved the children from a killer.  The problem with that, however, is that Boo has never wanted to be in the spotlight; he shies away from attention whenever he can.  So to name him publicly in such a way would be to force him into the middle of a huge situation that he would not want to be in.  When Heck and Atticus realize this, they also understand that it would be similar to the idea of killing a mockingbird because it is an act of harm done to someone who never wanted to hurt anyone.  The prejudice Boo has endured throughout his lifetime also goes along with the mockingbird symbol.

what chapter is this information in?

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