To Kill A Mockingbird is a very deep and complex book with many messages explaining the authors" views on various life themes. One of the themes of this powerful novel is how two of the main characters, Tom Robinson and Boo Radley, are compared to mockingbirds. A mockingbird represents someone or something that only helps people and does not cause harm to anyone. To Kill A Mockingbird illustrates how it is a sin to kill a mockingbird by the examples of Tom Robinson and Boo Radely's life choices and their willingness to help others. .
The novel demonstrates the metaphor of how Tom Robinson is a considered a mockingbird and one can only be inclined to agree. Tom conducts himself not only in public, but also in private of how to be a decent human being. For example, after Tom was killed for attempting to escape from prison, Mr. Underwood wrote a powerful editorial where he likened Tom's death " to the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children" (241). Mr. Underwood, a journalist in the novel, shows in this statement that he knows Tom's death was pointless and that the slaughter was only equivalent to a random act of unkindness. Mr. Underwood makes the comparison of killing a mockingbird and a crippled Tom Robinson very obvious. Both are defenseless making it sinful to be killing either one of them. Another character, Scout, further expands the theme when she is thinking about Tom Robinson and she realizes "[Tom] won't dare to strike a white woman under any circumstances," (195). Throughout the story other occurrences of Tom's kindness and compassion are given. This is why Scout knows that Tom striking any women is vastly out of his character. Even the jurors who sentence Tom to death have nothing personal against him. By finding him guilty, they did not take the word of a black man over two whites because this threatens the system of their society. Both Mr. Underwood's editorial and Scout's childhood thoughts show why Tom Robinson is a perfect example of a mockingbird.