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To Kill a Mockingbird


 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 
 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 Alexandria would 
have, had she lived with the Finches.
 Before reading To Kill a Mockingbird, the title itself means 
nothing. The title is the foundation of a house. It is just a slob 
of cement, and cannot be interpreted. While reading the book, pieces 
of wood fit together and the house starts to stand up. After reading 
the book, the house is fully painted and decorated. The landscaping 
is complete, and the house is beautiful. Several things and people 
represent the "Mockingbird" throughout the novel. The understanding 
of the "Mockingbird" can bee seen in three steps. The first step is 
in chapter 10. Atticus tells Jem to never shoot a mockingbird, 
because it causes no harm. At this point, neither Jem nor Scout 
understand what Atticus is saying. Secondly, Scout finds a roly-poly 
in chapter 25. In answer to Scout's desire to kill the bug, Jem says, 
"Because they don't bother you." (241). At this second stage, Jem, 
not yet Scout, has understood Atticus' holy words. The last depiction 
is in the final chapters of the book. This "Mockingbird" is Arthur 
"Boo" Radley. Boo ends up to save both Jem and Scout's lives, by 
killing Bob Ewell. At this final stage in the book, Scout, as well as 
Jem, understands Atticus and his saying. Scout realizes life.
To Kill a Mockingbird is a very inspirational book. Not only is it a 
book for pleasure, it shows us today how far we have come, and yet the 
long journey ahead. Boo Radley and Atticus were very important 
characters, for both the developments of kids in the book and reader. 
 The title is something that can be interpreted in many ways. Each 
one will be different, based on the reader's philosophy and beliefs.


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