You need to have read thru chapter ten of To Kill a Mockingbird to respond to this topic.  If you have NOT read thru chapter ten, please do NOT read further (as it will spoil/give away information you haven't read yet).

  • In chapter ten we read the title of this novel in context.  I don't know about you, but I had not been giving much thought to the title of this novel until I actually read about it at the start of chapter ten.  Miss Maudie tells Scout and Jem that "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 is a sin to kill a mockingbird" (Lee 119).
  • Discuss and explore the meaning of these lines (as well as the title).  How might this apply to us today?  How could we use it in our everyday lives?  How is it like other texts we have read this past year/unit?  (You do not need to answer all the questions--just explore this explanation of why it is a sin to kill a mockingbird.)

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I think that the line ''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 is a sin to kill a mockingbird'' is trying to say that these mockingbirds are very righteous and honorable and don't cause pain to anyone and that's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird. And it also looks like the mockingbirds in this story are signs of peace and harmony. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs'' (Lee119). This is saying that these birds don't cause any pain or harm to anyone but rather sing their hearts out and spread nonviolence to us. I think that the title is trying to explain the significance of these Mockingbirds and there effect of spreading innocence and light to everyone. I think that we will later find out more about the influence of these mockingbirds towards the end of the story.   

So someone who puts others before herself/himself is a mockingbird--someone who "[spreads] innocence and light to everyone"?  Hmmm, sounds good to me.  Sounds like something we should all strive towards.  So let me ask you--and when I say "you" I am talking to everyone who reads this--do you know of any mockingbirds in our world today?  If so, who are they?  If not... any mockingbirds in the past?

If it's up to me a mocking bird is any form of a innocence, peacefulness, and more. What I mean by this is that a mockingbird is someone who is innocent and hasn't done anything wrong, they only preach peace and nothing else. I honestly haven't seen a mockingbird in today's society, and I am beginning to wonder if there is even such thing as a mockingbird in todays society. Now i am sure that there are those that were a mockingbird, however because of the fact that we as people find a way to bring down these mockingbirds, causing them to explode in anger, there may be very few mockingbirds left. However if i were to choose a mockingbird in real life I would say that Gandhi is a perfect example. He spread his peace just like how a mockingbird does so by singing. He was constantly put down by those that oppose his beliefs of non-violence, just like how mockingbirds are put down by these hunters, by people that oppose this innocence. Who knows, the idealistic mockingbirds may be going extinct. 

i dont think its extreme innocence and peace but like at heart we are mockingbirds. I think that there are numerous mockingbirds in today's world hidden behind bad actions, hidden behind stereotypes, hidden behind lies continuously fed to them by media. i believe that people might do bad things but that doesn't define you. Because at heart we are all good people. 

I cant think of any mockingbirds today in our world but  a person who comes to mind is stargirl. she was a mockingbird because she devoted herself into helping everyone else and throughout the book she didn't do anything selfish."Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy.'(119). i think that she was a mockingbird who got "killed" because of how everyone treated her. even though all she did was try to help the people in mica and try to make everyone around her happy, people still didn't stand her and pushed her away.

I think that a mockingbird is another meaning of a minoritie. This is because minorities do what ever they can to prove to the racist people (White people) that they are good people not the bad peopme they see on TV. As the line says "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 is a sin to kill a mockingbird" (Lee 119). This proves that the minorities don't harm, but help the people that are discriminating them.

I don't think this necessarily proves anything.  I know plenty of people of all shapes, sizes, colors, etc. (including minorities) who are not "good" people and who do "bad" things.  Just to say that all minorities are mockingbirds because they are oppressed by a dominant group--usually white people--sounds a bit politically correct and nervously irresponsible.  I refer you to Androgynous' response to the original question--I feel that answer is a lot more accurate.

 I think Boo Radley is symbolic for the mockingbird mentioned in the title because to kill a mockingbird is to destroy one's innocence. In the beginning chapters, Boo left the children gift upon gift in the knot of the tree in front of his home and blanketed Scout's shivering form in the light of the fire. To Jem and Scout, Boo started out as an infatuation of sorts but later became a figure of innocence who just wished to please others, just like a mockingbird. The whole neighborhood thought up rumors and stories about Boo, portraying him as a cruel character despite his obvious kind nature. It also seems that Boo has developed psychological problems due to his treatment by his father, thus being the reason he scarcely leaves his home.

 Jem, Scout and Atticus can also be symbolic for mockingbirds. Jem and Scout maintain a childlike innocence throughout the story and when they are exposed to the cruelty of the outside world, it is like hurting a mackingbird. Scout even engages in a scuffle with a girl named Cecil who accused her father of being a "n***er lover" after Atticus accepted the case of Tom Robinson. Atticus can be compared to the famed mockingbird because of his kindness and willingness to stand up for what is right. The three of them even have the last name Finch, another small and innocent song bird, which I think is a hidden message by Harper Lee herself.

     What you are implying, that mockingbirds represent innocence does make sense. Scout can be a mockingbird because of her childlike innocence. If I think about it now, it does seem that most of the things she hears and says, she does not seem to understand. Her Uncle Jack said to Atticus that "[Scout] doesn't know the meaning of half she says" (Lee 116). Scout just seems to go with the flow. It does seem as the book progresses, Scout is starting to see more things and she starts to see them in a different way. When Atticus tells her to put herself in the other person's shoes, she applies that to Miss Caroline and starts to understand why Miss Caroline does some things that seem strange to Scout. The people that guide her, like Cal and Miss Maudie, are starting to make her realize that not everything is what it seems. Maybe that is what made her start to lose some of that childlike innocence and mature a little bit. However, Scout doesn't lose all of that childlike innocence, because even after the good things Miss Maudie said about Arthur Radley, Scout seems to still be afraid of him. That is shown  when Arthur put a blanket on her and when she found out she was scared.

There could be many ways one can explain this quote; and if I where to explain this quote I would start by saying that it is about peaceful people that are being put down for nothing. That is said because she goes to say "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy" and this show that the "mockingbird" (Lee 119) . And then she goes to explain that mockingbirds don't bother people and 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"(lee 119). This shows that they are just there to sing, nothing else - nothing more. And then she says "That's why it is a sin to kill a mockingbird" (Lee 119). And its pretty clear that meaning isn't only about actual mockingbirds - no, its much more; its about actual people in today's society. Mockingbirds are just peaceful, however they are constantly being put down, their spirit us constantly being quashed. In today's world, those who are peaceful are being pushed passed the line, causing them to lose their peacefulness. An example of this today, is when a member of the LGBTQ community is doing nothing but she/he is constantly being brought down by others. In my opinion the mockingbird is any form of minority that was put down for no real reason. If we as people were to finally quit quashing these mockingbirds, we could have a real chance at acquiring the ideal community; a community full of these peaceful people - these "mockingbirds". 

These lines apply to us because it is a sin to kill a innocent person just like it is a sin to kill a mockingbird. Furthermore, we are told that it is wrong to kill innocent people because they have not done anything to hurt us so there is no reason for us to hurt them. In chapter 10 of "To Kill a Mockingbird", Miss Maudie tells Scout, "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). Looking at this evidence, it is clear that the author is implying that it is a crime to harm a person that has not inflicted pain on anyone just like it is wrong to wound or slaughter mockingbirds because they have not disturbed anyone or caused anyone distress.

It is a sin to kill a mockingbirds because they are just innocent animals just making music for the people to enjoy. And if I can relate this to something it will be the people who move out of their comfort zone and try to make a difference. To further explain, when a person moves out of their comfort zone and tries to make a change people start to criticize them for being different. And those people are basically committing a sin because they are criticizing the people who are trying to make a difference. In the text Miss Maudie tells Scout "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy" (Lee119). This evidence shows that the Mockingbirds are not harming anybody. They are just doing something for the people to enjoy.


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