Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Why doesn't the book "To Kill A Mocking Bird" have nothing to do with killing Mocking Birds?

It did teach me a valuable lesson about not judging people on the colour of their skin but it was no use to me as it didn't teach me how to kill a mocking bird, so the question is

Why doesn't the book "To Kill A Mocking Bird" have nothing to do with killing Mocking Birds


Yes I actually did read the book and learn it chapter by chapter, learnt every main character traits and every metaphorical image and saying, for an exam. I also saw the film

Update 2:

Rephrasing of question, why does the book to kill a mocking bird have anything to do with killing mocking birds

Update 3:

Rephrase again, Why does the book to kill a mocking bird have nothing to do with killing mocking birds

Update 4:

Does Dill really grow up to be Dirty Harry as in the Clint Eastwood films

Update 5:

I think it's unfair Atticus shoots a harmless rabid dog dead

40 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You must not have really read the book.

    In the book itself, the narrator describes how horrible a sin it is to kill a mockingbird, that wants to do nothing but live and sing it's song. It is a metaphor used to describe what evil it is to bring suffering or to kill innocence.

    Apply this to the story line of "To Kill a Mocking Bird" and what you said you learned from the story....make a little more sense now?

    Source(s): BA in English/Secondary Education Former English teacher
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  • 1 decade ago

    It does metaphorically.

    "Atticus said to Jem, "I'd rather you shot at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you'll go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." That was the only time I ever hear Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. "You're father's right," she 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 mocking bird"

    Basically the mocking birds are, metaphorically, the black people. And what harper lee is trying to say is that to be racist against black people and others is wrong because they do nothing to harm us.

    So the book was kind of about killing mocking birds really =] lmfao.

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  • Lainey
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    The mocking bird is a literary allusion for the oppressed. At the time the book was written mocking birds were thought of as pests, an annoyance. At one place in the book a character says why it's a sin to kill a mocking bird... because all they do is pour out their soul in beautiful song for our benefit. It's a sin to kill a mockingbird, it's a sin to think less of any other human being just for where they come from.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Its a metaphor, Atticus says "shoot all the blue-jays you want but remember it is a sin to kill a mocking bird. this is a metaphor because he goes on to explain how they don't do anything wrong which reflects the trial and ultimately the death of Tom Robinson, we all know that he did nothing wrong but yet he is still condemned for the crime because of the colour of his skin. the mocking bird represents the themes of innocence that is portrayed by Tom Robinson, Boo Radley and to an extent Dolfus Raymond

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  • 4 years ago

    Atticus is defending an innocent man against a whole town who wants to see him hung - mainly because a black man had a relationship with a white girl. I always thought the title had more to do with innocence . . . a mocking bird is innocent and has done no wrong, just as Tom is innocent. Or, according to SparkNotes: "Boo provides an example of the threat that evil poses to innocence and goodness. He is one of the novel’s “mockingbirds,” a good person injured by the evil of mankind." (Boo is not African American, but this reinforces my interpretation of the title.) "Tom is one of the novel’s “mockingbirds,” an important symbol of innocence destroyed by evil." In other words, I see no evidence of a racial slur in the title.

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  • angel
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You missed the point. It has been many years since I have read the book. But, it seems to me at one point Atticus uses the example to his children that mockingbirds are harmless and sing beautifully and so it was a sin to kill them. They do no harm. Then at the end of the story Scout compares Boo to the mockingbird. Boo was harmless and to have him charged with murder of, oh what's his name, the drunken bum guy, anyway, it would be a sin. The bum got his come uppense and Boo was only protecting the children.

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  • It does - the theme is about to kill a mockingbird.

    Atticus says that you can kill all the bluebirds you wanted but it was a sin to kill a mockingbird. Boo and Tom should be cared for (just like mockingbirds) however the people in Maycomb are far too prejudiced to do so.

    Source(s): I have just finished it in school
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  • 1 decade ago

    you employed a double negative. To say that the book "doesn't have nothing to do with" killing a mockingbird means that it does have something to do with it.

    it's been a long while since I read it, but I'm sure Atticus makes a comparison to Scout about something "Well, it would be like killing a mockingbird"

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Apparently you didn't actually READ the book.

    Atticus explains to Jem and Scout (because Jem has been bugging Atticus about wanting his first gun) that when his father gave Atticus his first gun, he very solemnly told him he could kill all the Jays and whatever other birds he wanted to -- but it was a sin to kill a mockingbird. Because they don't eat the corn, they don't get in the crops, they don't do a bit of damage in the world. Their only purpose here on this Earth is to sing beautiful songs and bring us joy.

    Much later in the story, Scout says to Atticus (when discussing how it would be wrong to force Boo Radley to go into court to testify about what happened) that it would be "sort of like killing a mockingbird, wouldn't it?"

    Scout got it.

    Also - the whole Tom Robinson thing, too. Another mockingbird which was killed.

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    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It mentions that 'it is a sin to kill a mockingbird', just like it's a sin to punish somebody for the colour of their skin.

    The black guy did not rape the woman in the story and even though he didn't and everybody in the story knew that, they couldn't let a black man be freed over the word of a white.

    Just like the mocking bird does no harm, they just sing beautifully and do not deserve to be killed for no reason.

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