The significance of the title to the story is that as the story goes on we see that there are more than just the obvious mockingbirds, e.g. Tom Robinson.
Also as the story progresses we learn more about the mockingbirds.
Firstly we see the title introduced into chapter 10 when the children receive guns for Christmas. They are eager to use their guns so Atticus tells them,
” You can shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can get them, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird”.
The author uses this title because it symbolizes innocence being punished and also being victimized when they do no wrong.
Tom Robinson is the main mockingbird; he was accused of raping a white women (Mayella Ewell) by Bob Ewell who, we find out later on in the story, is an extreme racist. We know that Tom is innocent because we learn that he is a good man and only wants to help Mayella. Others also think this, Such as Judge Taylor who appoints Atticus in the first place because he knows that Atticus will take the case seriously and also have the best chance of defending Tom. In the trial scene we see Bob Ewell victimize him by saying,
“I seen that black nigger yonder ruttin’ on my Mayella!”
Secondly, after the trial had finished and the jury was about to give their verdict, they all said guilty, therefore being beist and also discriminating against Tom even though the evidence was beyond question pointing towards Bob Ewell. Lastly, as Tom tried to escape he was shot in the back and killed, where one shot would have done, the guards had to shoot him nine times in the back. These are some examples of people victimizing Tom Robinson.
As well as Tom Robinson being a Mockingbird there is also Boo Radley. The children mainly victimize him, but they did not really know what he looked like and were just guessing as to what his appearance was.
“He’s six foot six and eats raw squirrels”
This was one of the comments made by Scout.
Also he is described as a mysterious ogre when Jem and Scout found the gifts in the hollow of the tree. Lastly when Scout finally sees Boo, she realizes he is not an ogre or a six foot six monster that eats raw squirrels but a very pale and timid looking man. Then Scout realizes how she has been prejudiced against Boo.
The two main mockingbirds are Tom Robinson and Boo Radley, but there are also other characters that are mockingbirds as well. The finches are mockingbirds because of the abuse they get off Bob Ewell and other towns folk. Judge Taylor is a mockingbird as well because Bob Ewell victimizes him for picking Atticus to defend Tom. Helen Robinson is victimized once again by bob who follows her home from work and taunts her. Lastly Dolphus Raymond is victimized by the public for being a stupid drunk, when really he is drinking coke instead of alcohol, which is what they think he does drink.
The Mocking bird is used in this novel as an example of what can happen to innocent people, who like the mocking bird do nothing but try to help us. It is used to explore the prejudices and victimization of people in the novel such as Tom and Boo. The only hope lies with children such as Jem and Scout, who apart from curiosity show no prejudice or victimization towards anybody black or white.