In To Kill a Mockingbird (United States of America: Warner Books Edition, 1960) Harper Lee portrays racial problems and social injustice between white people and black people in Alabama. In my opinion, To Kill a Mockingbird deals with racism, prejudice, humor, courage and symbolism. The story begins when Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow. He and his sister, Scout, try to remember why Jem got the accident. From that accident, they tell about their neighbor and social life in Maycomb. They also tell their father, Atticus, who always helps someone who needs his help.
The symbol of mockingbirds is explicitly explained in this book. For example, when Atticus told Jem and Scout, “Remember it is a sin to kill a mockingbird,” [Chapter 9]. Scout did not understand what her father mean, so she asked Miss Maudie about it. Miss Maudie said,”Mockingbirds 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. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird” [Chapter 10]. From this part, I learn that mockingbirds are innocent; it is a sin if we kill or injure them. The symbolism of mockingbirds extends to human also. I think, Tom Robinson is an example of a mockingbird. He is a good person, he did not hurt anybody. However, because of the prejudice and racial injustice, he convicted by jury and the jury decided him guilty. In my opinion, Tom Robinson should not have been convicted because he did not do mistake.
Boo Radley is another example of a mockingbird. He did not do any harm to the other people. When Miss Maudie’s house in fire, Boo Radley gives Scout a blanket to make her warm. He also gives Scout and Jem toys, gum, medals and watch. Besides, he protects Jem and Scout from Bob Ewell, who try to kill them. If somebody wants to kill him, it is a big sin I guess because he do not hurt or disturb someone. However, he helps people in his ways.
Atticus, who is Scout’s father, is a brave and wise person. He always tells his children to be a brave person. Atticus said,” …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 you see it through no matter what,” [p.116]. From that I learn that we must try to be a brave person. Another example of the courage of Atticus is when he defends Tom Robinson, who is black people. When his child asked why he defends Tom, he answered that we must help people who need our help regardless who they are. Besides, I think Scout is an innocent girl but she is actually smart. She can read before she enters to school. She also learns about the social situation at that time and she seems to be more mature compared to the other children at the same age.
In conclusion, we could not hurt someone who is innocent, just like a mockingbird. Besides, we must help the other people who need our help, just like Atticus.