"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 there hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mocking bird”(Miss Maudie, pg.90). Harper Lee, author of the novel "To Kill a Mocking Bird”, chose wisely when picking the title of her book. Throughout the magnificent novel Harper Lee left the reader wondering what is the symbolism, if any, of the title. Set in the post depression time era, "To Kill a Mocking Bird” is a story about racism and its consequences. The title outlines some certain aspects in the story involving racism.
In the story an innocent man, Tom Robinson is put on trial for rape of Mayella Ewell, daughter of the notorious Bob Ewell. Tom did not rape or injure Mayella. Mayella called him into the Ewell home so that she could make advances of Mayella. Once tom realized what was going on he ran out of the house for fear that he would be lynched by Mr. Ewell. Ashamed of what she did, Mayella told her father who beat her then put the blame on to Tom. Even though Atticus put on a great case, the racism over powered the effort and Tom Robinson was found guilty. While in jail, Tom tried to make an escape and was shot at and killed. While Bob Ewell may have won the trial, he felt that Atticus had embarrassed him and his family. He decided that he had to retaliate. He chose to attempt to kill the Finch Children. While doing so, a mysterious figure killed Bob Ewell before he could kill one of the Finch children.
This is significant to the title of the book. Tom Robinson is a mocking bird. He never harmed anyone and went around day-to-day singing his song or in other words helping others. The trial represents the killing part of the title because the process in which Tom Robinson was killed was the trial. Together this forms the title, "To Kill a Mocking Bird”. This was probably Harper Lee's thinking when she named the book.