What does this mean in To Kill a Mockingbird? Do you agree that Boo is like a mockingbird?At the end of the book Scout says that telling people Boo Radley committed the murder would have been "sort...

What does this mean in To Kill a Mockingbird? Do you agree that Boo is like a mockingbird?

At the end of the book Scout says that telling people Boo Radley committed the murder would have been "sort of like shootin' a mockingbird."

 

Asked on by kara89

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

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(I have edited your query since only one question is allowed per eNotes posting.)

Boo Radley is one of the human mockingbirds in To Kill a Mockingird: people who, like the mockingbird, are innocent and harmless beings only capable of doing good (though this is not always recognized by everyone. Tom Robinson and many of the children in the novel are other examples of the human mockingbird). As Sheriff Tate had earlier explained, it would do no good for him to bring the reclusive Boo into the "limelight" of an investigation concerning Bob Ewell's death; instead, Tate decides to call Bob's death self-inflicted in order to protect Boo and the good deed he had done the town. Scout understands Tate's reasoning, and she applies the decision to one of Atticus' earlier warnings: It was okay to shoot blue jays, but "it was a sin to kill a mockingbird." Charging Boo with Bob's death, or even involving him in a public investigation, would have been a potentially devastating action to take against Boo, who preferred the solitary life behind the Radley house walls to any kind of public appearance. Tate's decision basically closed the case, leaving Boo to continue with his life as before.

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