To Kill a Mockingbird: An Analysis


To Kill a Mockingbird is definitely an excellent novel in that it
portrays life and the role of racism in the 1930\'s. A reader may not interpret
several aspects in and of the book through just the plain text. Boo Radley,
Atticus, and the title represent three such things.
Not really disclosed to the reader until the end of the book, Arthur
"Boo" Radley plays an important role in the development of both Scout and Jem.
In the beginning of the story, Jem, Scout, and Dill fabricate horror stories
about Boo. They find Boo as a character of their amusement, and one who has no
feelings whatsoever. They tried to get a peep at him, just to see what Boo
looked like. Scout connects Boo with the Mockingbird. Mrs. Maudie defines a
mockingbird as one who "…don\'t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy.
They don\'t eat up people\'s gardens, don\'t nest in corncribs, they don\'t do one
thing but sing their hearts out for us" (94). Boo is exactly that. Boo is the
person who put a blanket around Scout and Jem when it was cold. Boo was the one
putting "gifts" in the tree. Boo even sewed up Jem\'s pants that tore on Dill\'s
last night. Boo was the one who saved their lives. On the contrary to Scout\'s
primary belief, Boo never harms anyone. Scout also realizes that she wrongfully
treated Boo when she thinks about the gifts in the tree. She never gave
anything back to Boo, except love at the end. When Scout escorts Arthur home and
stands on his front porch, she sees the same street she saw, just from an
entirely different perspective. Scout learns what a Mockingbird is, and who
represents one.
Arthur Radley not only plays an important role in developing Scout and
Jem, but helps in developing the novel. Boo can be divided into three stages.
Primitively, Boo is Scout\'s worst nightmare. However, the author hints at Boo
actually existing as a nice person when he places things in the tree. The
secondary stage is when Mrs. Maudie\'s house burned to the ground. As Scout and
Jem were standing near Boo\'s house, it must have been rather cold. So, Boo
places a warm and snug blanket around Scout and Jem, to keep them warm. This
scene shows Boo\'s more sensitive and caring side of him, and shows that he
really has changed after stabbing his father. The last and definitely most
important stage is when he kills Bob Ewell to save Scout and Jem. This stage
portrays Boo as the hero and one who has indefinitely changed his personality
and attitudes. After the final stage, Boo does not deserve to be locked up
inside his house.
Atticus Finch is a man of strong morals. He follows them exclusively,
and does not hold up to the Finch family name, as defined by Aunt Alexandria.
Atticus is the most pure and good-hearted person one may ever \'see.\' Although
it does not seem like it, Scout will evolve into her father; Jem will not.
Scout finally understand all the things he says. For example, in the beginning
Atticus tells Scout, "You never really understand a person until you consider
things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in
it" (34). She then realizes that Mrs. Caroline did not know Maycomb, and could
not just learn it in one day. Scout comes to terms that it was wrong to become
upset with Mrs. Caroline. Scout learns several other lessons. For example, on
page 94, Atticus says his most important line in the book, "…remember it\'s a
sin to kill a mockingbird." Through clarifications from Mrs. Maudie, Scout
accepts her father\'s words. Atticus also teaches his kids a lesson when he
defends Tom Robinson, an innocent black person. Although Atticus knew from the
instant he accepted the case that Tom had no chance, he had to do his duty as an
honest and impartial citizen of Maycomb. Atticus poured his heart into
defending Atticus, and did a damn fine job. He taught his kids the right thing,
that all individuals are created equal. If Aunt Alexandria had raised Scout and
Jem, they might have not cried at the end of the trial; they would not want to
hurt the Finch family reputation. It was Atticus who received a standing
ovation from the Black\'s Balcony. It is because of Atticus\' good heart that
Cal\'s black church accepted the children. Atticus has probably built a better
name for his family than Aunt