To Kill a Mockingbird Symbolism Essay

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, Truman Capote Pages: 3 (1202 words) Published: April 25, 2008
To Kill A Mockingbird Essay

Describe an important symbol or symbols in the text you have studied and analyse how the symbol helped to develop ideas in the text.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a story of racial prejudice and social class set in a time when such narrow-mindedness was considered acceptable and apart of every day life in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama. Narrated and based around Scout (Jean Louise) Finch and the many ordeals she and her brother (Jem) face in the years of their growing up; out of the childhood innocence they once possessed to realise the true evils of their community and shed false pretences surrounding the innocence of two such characters as Boo Radley and Tom Robinson for which the community of Maycomb had long labelled and ridiculed for either their colour or peculiar behavioural patterns. Lee incorporates several different symbols within the text that assist in developing the ideas and beliefs held by both Scout and Jem such as; the Mockingbird, Mrs Dubose’ Camellias and Mayella Ewell’s red Geraniums all of which play important roles on the children’s conscience and sense of justice. A Mockingbird is an innocent animal that exists solely to make music, it does not harm nor offend any around it but rather tries to make life more pleasant. Scout and Jem’s father tells them they can “shoot all the Blue Jays you want, if you can hit’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a Mockingbird,” (pg 69). In To Kill A Mockingbird Boo Radley and Tom Robinson can be seen as Mockingbirds who are both peaceful people that would never dream of hurting another, however both of these characters are in a sense killed by the community of Maycomb through their prejudice attitudes and beliefs. In contrast with the loud and obnoxious Blue jay the Mockingbird does not have its own song but rather only sings the songs of other birds just as Tom Robinson and Boo Radley do not have their own ‘song’ and play only to the tune of music...
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