In To Kill a Mockingbird, what does Scout mean at the end that "It'd sort of be like shootin' a mockingbird"?

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marilynn07 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Arthur "Boo" Radley is a recluse in this story. He avoids people and does not socialize with the residents of the town. However, he is the real hero of the story. He is the guardian and protector of the Finch children.

Scout understands her father's admonishment about shooting mocking birds with the bb guns because mocking birds are not a pest, they just sing pretty songs and are a joy to have around.

Creating a fuss and having the newspaper interview Mr. Arthur Radley about his heroism would have brought an end to Mr. Radley's lifestyle. He would have been out in the public eye, and that would create even more problems for the Radleys.

So, bring Arthur Radley out in the public as a hero would have "outed" him without his consent.  Being a public figure would have "killed" his personality and his lifestyle.

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout's observation at the end of the novel about protecting Boo Radley from suffering  shows how much she has grown up. Scout makes the connection between Boo and the mockingbirds Atticus had forbidden Jem to kill because she has come to understand the value of innocence and goodness and the evil of cruelty. This passage shows that Scout has adopted her father's values. It also serves to emphasize these major themes of the novel.

uniquekidd | Student

Well I think Scout was trying to say or prove Tom's Robinson's case in the novel. In my opinion she was trying to say that Tom never was a pest & he never harmed anyone so it was wrong in the first place to send him to jail where we later learned that he would be shot. He always help Mayella and he never complained and she should have not gotten him convicted just like Atticus warns Jem & Scout not to shoot mockingbirds.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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