Essay on Innocence in to Kill a Mockingbird

945 Words 4 Pages
Innocence, or the loss of innocence, is a theme that permeates many great works of literature. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is no exception. The novel compares many of its characters to mockingbirds, a symbol of pure innocence. Two of the most prominent of the novel’s mockingbirds are Tom Robinson, a black man wrongly accused and convicted of rape, and Boo Radley, an outcast from society who spends his days like a hermit locked up in his house. Tom provides something beneficial to society through his work and family, and contributes to the town as a whole much like a mockingbird’s ballad, while Boo remains separate from the society of Maycomb County, and barely contributes to it. Additionally, Tom tries to protect himself and his …show more content…
In contrast to this, Boo Radley only leaves his house once, and while he does take care of Jem and Scout and give them presents, he does not contribute to society as a whole. This shows that Tom is a much better representation of the mockingbird because he contributes to society, while Boo does not.

Both Tom Robinson and Boo Radley were persecuted by the legal and social systems of Maycomb County. Boo is allowed to go free for his crimes simply because he is white, whereas Tom is convicted of a crime he never committed, raping Mayella, because he is black and is killed as a result of the colour of his skin. Additionally, the novel ends after Boo kills Bob Ewell, who is attacking Jem and Scout. Boo is allowed to go free, without trial. Tom, who defends his family’s way of life as well as his own life by telling the truth in court and remaining honest in the face of prejudice and racism, is killed because society cannot believe that his word is correct over a white woman’s. Boo, on the other hand, kills a man to protect his own family, and is allowed to continue living his life in solitude with no repercussions. Scout comments, after Sheriff Heck Tate tells her father, Atticus, that Bob Ewell fell on his knife, and that there will be no trial for his murder, that “Well, it’d be sort

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