Atticus in “To Kill a Mockingbird” explains to Scout and Jem that it is a sin to harm a mockingbird as they are harmless creatures that only sing. Miss Maudie further explains that they do not cause any damage and only provide music for us to enjoy. By killing a mockingbird, one is destroying something innocent and pure, which is a sin. The mockingbird symbol is also applied to Tom Robinson, an innocent black man who is falsely accused of rape. Atticus is referring to Tom Robinson’s case when he says it is a sin to kill a mockingbird, as he is an innocent victim who has been wrongfully accused and punished. The theme of protecting the innocent and vulnerable is a major one in the book, and the mockingbird symbolizes this. The title of the book itself is a reference to this theme, emphasizing the importance of protecting the innocent from harm.
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