Mrs. Van Wely
May 05 2015
Definition Of A Mockingbird
As Voltaire once said
“It is better to risk saving a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one.” .
The fascinating story To Kill A Mockingbird takes place in a sleepy, southern county of
Maycomb in the 1930’s. There are people who live in Maycomb who can be considered unfair and possibly evil in the eyes of some, but are just acting as they were taught by society. Throughout the novel there are numerous innocent characters that are considered as mockingbirds. The characters;
Tom Robinson, Boo Radley and Jeremy ‘Jem’ Finch are all innocent because
Mockingbirds don’t do anything but make music for us to enjoy. One can see by examining Tom Robinson, Boo Radley and
Jem Finch, that Harper Lee examines the necessity of protecting vulnerable members of society in
Kill a Mockingbird.
The first person that shows innocence in the novel is Tom Robinson. Tom Robinson was a colored man living in a community where blacks were accused of everything that goes wrong in
Maycomb county. Tom was accused of raping Mayella Ewell (white girl, 19 years old). Although
Tom did no such thing, he was still arraigned of being guilty because he is black. Many people thought that he did what the Ewell’s incriminated him of doing, so he was convicted guilty. Whites had extended power over blacks at the time, "I shut my eyes. Judge Taylor was polling the jury: 'Guilty… guilty… guilty… guilty…' I peeked at Jem: his hands were white from gripping the balcony rail, and his shoulders jerked as if each 'guilty' was a separate stab between them."
Hassan 2 (Lee 112). Atticus Finch told the jury that Tom Robinson could not have done it because his left arm was useless, it was ‘crippled’. Mayella Ewell was beaten on the right side of her face, according to
Bob Ewell and Heck Tate, which meant that the attacker was left handed. This means that Tom could not have beaten Mayella Ewell up. Before anyone found out that Tom was in fact a ‘cripple’, Atticus had Bob Ewell write for him and he turned out to be left handed. The verdict was guilty even though he was innocent, but after all Tom was a black man in a courtroom facing a white jury that was overruled by white men. Tom needs to be protected because of all of the racism that is being hauled around in
Boo Radley is the second example of an innocent man in Maycomb. Nobody has seen Arthur
‘Boo’ Radley in a long time because he was the origin of trouble and was told to stay locked up inside of his house, but Jem Finch seemed to have a good explanation of what he believed Boo looked like;
Boo was about sixandahalf feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that's why his hands were bloodstainedif you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time. (Lee 16). This quotation is at the beginning of the novel when Jem was giving a description of how he thought
Boo Radley looked and acted. Near the end of the novel the readers found out that Boo seemed like a child, that he only harmed people to spare the innocent. He was locked up in the house for many years because of all the rumors that had spread around, so staying in the house would prevent that. But anyone that was locked up in a house for many years is bound to turn insane one day or another. There were some incidents where Scout and Jem were remarkably close to seeing Boo in person, one would be when Boo put the blanket on Jem and Scout while they were
standing outside during Miss.…