In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the author Harper Lee uses a Mockingbird as a symbol, the bird brings happiness, but is bothered and shot by the people of Maycomb. Lee shows this when Tom Robinson is accused of raping Mayella Ewell but he did not rape her and he was still convicted. Tom is getting killed like a Mockingbird because of society’s prejudice.Tom Robinson represents a Mockingbird being killed by racial bias and unfairness. Tom is a friendly black man who is accused of raping Mayella Ewell and was also convicted for the crime he did not commit. He was a generous man who cared about Mayella even though she is white.
The people of Maycomb wanted Tom to be killed even though he did not rape Mayella, they did not care because Tom was African American. Killing an African American for raping a white women would be a normal thing for the people of Maycomb. In Maycomb things are never fair even the courtrooms, it was the principle that “when it’s a white man’s word against a black man’s, the white man always wins”(pg.220). The people of Maycomb did not care about Tom’s personality because they hated African Americans and they viewed them as cruel and merciless. The outcome is Tom is the Mockingbird and is getting killed by the people of Maycomb, he was a generous person but because of racial bias he lost his life.Boo Radley represents a Mockingbird being killed by society’s prejudice.
Boo is helpless man who is mocked by his neighbors. Scout describes Boo as a shy and helpless man and is similar to to a Mockingbird because of his vulnerability. His neighbors viewed him as someone that was isolated and does not meet the town’s standards. The neighborhood never even bothered to talk to him, because they could not accept that he was different than everybody in the community.
Rumors were made about him and he was known as a “malevolent phantom”(pg.8). Even though he faced rejection, Boo stilled cared about Scout and Jem even when he was getting teased by them. Boo saved children and he also gave them gift in a knothole so that they could collect. The things that Boo does shows that he is actually a good man and Maycomb is wrong for what they think of him. Maycomb’s society killed a Mockingbird which was Boo Radley, Boo was a good man, but Maycomb thought of him a bad man and he failed to blend into their society.
Atticus Finch is a wise man and treats people with respect and is a role model to his children and to the town of Maycomb, but still was mocked by Maycomb because he defended Tom who was colored. Maycomb believed that a white man should not try and defend a black man. The people of Maycomb made fun of Atticus, kids at school would tease Scout and Jem calling their father a “nigger lover”. In spite of teasing and talking behind his back, Atticus told his children that it is the right thing to do.
Atticus said “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what”(pg.112), Atticus wants to do what is right no matter what.
Atticus does not care if he gets criticized or disliked, he just want to stand up for what is right.Harper Lee creatively uses the symbol of a Mockingbird to explore the justice issues with Maycomb’s community. The result of Maycomb being prejudice, Innocent people were being viewed as Evil and it ruined some of their lives. The dishonesty of Maycomb makes the town a mess therefore it is a malfunctional community.