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Main Heroes of to Kill a Mockingbird: a Closer Look at Their Personalities

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“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” (Lee 90). In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird many of the characters can be portrayed by the quote “It’s a sin to kill a mocking bird.” The three characters that are best represented by this are Tom Robinson, Atticus Finch, and Boo Radley.

Tom Robinson is a mockingbird character because he was accused of raping Mayella Ewell but is clearly innocent. But because of this he was wrongly convicted do to the strong racism in Maycomb County. When Atticus was defending Tom he had a point that proved that it was impossible for Tom to have beaten on Mayella.

“Thomas Robinson reached around, ran his fingers under his left arm and lifted it. He guided his arm to the bible and his rubber-like left hand sought contact with the black binding. As he raised his right hand, the useless one slipped off the Bible and hit the clerks table.”(190).

This proves that Tom could not have beaten Mayella’s face, because Sheriff Tate stated that it was the right side of her face that was bruised that means Tom would have to hit her with his left hand which he cannot. Even though this point proves that Tom could not have done this to Mayella the court still finds him guilty. Tom does everything he could for Mayella he fetches water, he dismantles a chest of drawers, and he collects firewood. All because he feels sorry for her. Yet she turns on him and says that he was the one who raped her. While being questioned by Mr. Gilmer during the trial, Tom states on many occasions that his reason for helping Mayella was that he felt bad for her. “Yes, suh. I felt sorry for her, she seemed to try more’n the rest of them.” This quote makes Tom Robinson a mockingbird character. All he was trying to do for Mayella was make her a bit happier by helping her out, because he felt sorry for her because of the way her living conditions were. Yet she turned on him and accused him of rape.

Atticus was constantly being attacked by the Maycomb citizens even though all he was trying to do was the right thing. Even though Atticus was appointed to defend Tom Robinson, it was the fact that he aimed to defend him that angered the town. If the town could see past the racism then they would see that he was doing the right thing. At one point Scout overhears the members of the Idlers Club talking about her dad. “The court appointed Atticus to defend him. Atticus aimed to defend him. That’s what they didn’t like about it. It was confusing.”(163). Scout is confused why the town is angered at Atticus when it is his job to defend Tom even though he is black. Even Atticus’s friends turn on him during the novel; they threatened to kill him if he did not move out of their way. In this dialogue Atticus and some angry townsfolk talk about Tom after he is moved to the jail.

“He in there, Mr. Finch?” a man said

“He is,” we heard Atticus answer, “and he’s asleep. Don’t wake him up.”

“You know what we want,” said another man “Get aside the door, Mr. Finch.”(149-150)

The conversation goes on until Scout realizes that her father is going to be jumped. This quote proves that Atticus is a “mockingbird” character because he is only trying to do the right thing by helping Tom.

Boo Radley has done nothing to the other citizens of Maycomb but he still gets mocked and slandered by them. The Citizens of Maycomb have made up elaborate stories about how Boo eats cats, stabs his parents, and watches you sleep. While Scout is talking to Miss. Maudie at one point in the novel, Scout asks Miss. Maudie if the stories about Boo are true and she says that they are complete lies.

“Do you think they’re true, all those things they say about B-Mr. Arthur?”

What things?

I told her

“That is three-fourths coloured folks and one-fourth Stephanie Crawford”

This Quote proves that Boo is a “Mockingbird” character because once you here that the stories came from Stephanie Crawford you can tell that they are lies, and that the people are basing these stories off of little to no facts. A another point in the novel Boo comes out of his hiding and the children realize that he is not as bad as he was made out to be by the other citizens of Maycomb. “Hey, Boo”(270) this quote that Scout say’s when she finds out that her saviour was Boo makes him a “mockingbird” character because this is when Scout realizes that all along they have not really given Boo a chance, In the fact that Boo has not done anything to them but they still made fun of him.

Many of the characters are mockingbird characters in the novel, cast out from the normal life of Maycomb County for just trying to do the right thing. Tom Robinson. Atticus went against most of his family friends in his fight to defend Tom Robinson, Even though he wanted to do only what was right he still got attacked by his County. Boo Radley has been locked up for the past 15 years and has done no wrong to the Maycomb citizens but still they mock, kid, and make fun of him. Do you think these “mockingbird characters” deserved to be treated this way? No they do not they all were trying to do what they thought was best, although the citizens may not have agreed with it they should have been more understanding.

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Main Heroes of To Kill a Mockingbird: A Closer Look at Their Personalities. (2018, December 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 25, 2021, from
“Main Heroes of To Kill a Mockingbird: A Closer Look at Their Personalities.” GradesFixer, 11 Dec. 2018,
Main Heroes of To Kill a Mockingbird: A Closer Look at Their Personalities. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 Oct. 2021].
Main Heroes of To Kill a Mockingbird: A Closer Look at Their Personalities [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Dec 11 [cited 2021 Oct 25]. Available from:
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