Themes in To Kill a Mockingbird
by Chad Moser
A major theme in To Kill a Mockingbird is courage. There are many different examples of courage in this book involving a lot of the characters. Scout' showed courage when she would go up to the Radley house even though she was scared. Jem showed courage by trying to help Scout and telling her to run when Bob Ewell attacked them. Atticus showed courage when he defended an innocent black man, even though it was against southern tradition and not socially acceptable to put a black mans word against a white man's. Tom Robinson showed a lot of courage and bravery when he was willing to put his word up against the Ewell's even though he knew that nobody would find him innocent even though he was.
Another theme was growing up and all three of the kids and even Atticus realized some things about growing up that they didn't know before. Scout is learning how to adjust to the age gap between Jem and her and dealing with the boys not wanting to have a little girl with them all the time. She also has to deal with her aunt trying to make her act like a normal girl and wear dresses instead of overalls. Jem starts to grow up when he goes to high school and plays football and does more grown up stuff and starts to grow hair on his chest. Dill grows up when he realizes just how unfair life is during the trial because even though he and everyone else knows that Tom Robinson is innocent, they still have to call him innocent, and this shocks Dill and makes him realize some things about the world he grows up in. I think that Atticus even grew up a little because he's getting older and his hair's turning grey, and he realizes that he can't always just look at the best in people because some people like Bob Ewell are just bad and would do bad things to people
I think that the mockingbird was the most obvious theme in this book. A mockingbird is a innocent bird that doesn't do anything to harm anything, and all it does is make music. They use it as a symbol of innocence and to show Scout and Jem their beliefs on certain things. They use it as a symbol of innocence when they get their guns and Atticus tells them that they can shoot what they want, but not a mockingbird. It shows up again later to show the kids and the readers that killing an innocent man like Tom Robinson was wrong and it should have never happened. It popped up again later when Heck Tate and Atticus were talking about what happened under the tree and how Boo saved the kids, and Heck said that it would be like killing a mockingbird to put all that attention on Boo when he is so shy and wants to be alone, so this kid of shows Scout the difference between right and wrong.