Who are the mockingbirds in the novel, and why are they mockingbirds?
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The "mockingbirds" in the story are the innocents; "To Kill a Mockingbird," is to destroy innocence. Jem, Tom Robinson, Dill, and Boo Radley can all be described as mockingbirds at one time or another, being that their contact with evil has somehow hurt them. The names of birds are used throughout the text, and Maud at one point explains to Scout that, “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but . . . sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” Scout in turn, declares that killing Boo Radley would be the same thing as killing a mockingbird.
To Kill a Mockingbird