Top-Rated Free Essay

Symbolism in Tkam

Good Essays
Symbolism in To Kill a Mockingbird
“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.”
-J.K Rowling To Kill a Mockingbird Is a story of change, maintaining patience, and learning how to see people past their roles in society. The clarity and connections of the plot tying into subplots through symbolism has made this novel a literary classic. Taking place in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, readers get the idea of the true racism and ignorance throughout southern society during the 1930’s. Symbolism can be portrayed in nearly every important episode throughout the book. The story starts out with the narrator, Scout, introducing herself and talking about her family (Lee, Page 1-4). Scout is a young six- year old tomboy who lives with her older brother, Jem, and her father, Atticus. Scout is an adventurous character, following her friend Dill and older brother into playful trouble. Maycomb is a place where your role in society is vital. It’s how the people of the town treat you, it’s how you get jobs, and it’s how you learn to live your life. Overall, Maycomb moves at a steady pace and most of the time, isn’t interrupted by misplace in their routine of the social pyramid. However, in this story, it’s a time of great change for this area centering the alleged rape of the white Mayella Ewell, daughter of the wicked Bob Ewell, by the innocent black Tom Robinson. Change is one of the biggest themes in this novel. In order to symbolize this, Lee displays minor events foreshadowing great journeys to come.
As a blazing, humid hot town Maycomb is, one winter the children get a big surprise. The Town gets their first snowstorm in quite some time. (Lee, Page 69) Seeing snow for the first time, the children are extremely excited and at first think the world is ending. They rush out of the house and think of what they wanted to do first with all of the snow, since they’ve never dealt with it before (Lee, Page 69). They all decide on constructing a snowman, an opportunity that they’ve never gotten before. Since there is not enough snow to make a well-built snowman, Jem builds a foundation of dirt to support the stability. Then, all work together to cover up the dirt with snow. (Stabler, Scott. To Kill a Mockingbird Article) “‘Jem, I ain't ever heard of a nigger snowman,’ I said.’He won't be black long', he grunted.” (Lee, Page 70) The Children do not realize that this event was explicitly symbolic on doing the job of displaying the superficiality of skin color and the how underneath, everyone is a human, such as Tom Robinson. (Not only is this symbol interpreted as that, but also not everyone who looks respectable on the outside is good at heart on the inside, such as Bob Ewell.) (O'Neill, Terry. Readings on to Kill a Mockingbird.)
Finally, the deepest symbolism conveyed is through the symbol of the mockingbird. The title plainly makes us wonder what it truly means to kill a mockingbird. One day, while discussing weaponry and hunting to Jem, Atticus mentions that he’d rather Jem shoot tin cans in the backyard. After that he adds. “I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” (Lee, 90) Scout asks her neighbor, Mrs. Maudie about it, and she agrees. Explaining Atticus’ words, Mrs. Maudie states “Mockingbirds… don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” (Lee, 90.) The summary of it all is that a mockingbird is a symbol of everything that is harmless. They only make music for others to enjoy and to kill anything with that good heart is a sin. Both Boo Radley and Tom Robinson are harmless individuals, who never intend to hurt anyone and don’t seek revenge but only focus on the kindness of their heart. Tom is pleaded guilty for the alleged rape, although completely innocent (solely for the color of his skin) and afterwards, shot while escaping prison. After that, the evil Bob Ewell is killed by the stereotyped psychopath, Boo Radley, (Lee, 374) when Boo saves Scout and Jem from getting stabbed. Bob Ewell was punished for his sin of Tom’s death through symbolism and karma. In the novel, the people of Maycomb only know Boo Radley and Tom Robinson by what others say about them. “Both of these characters do not really have their own ‘song’ in a sense, they are characterized by other people’s viewpoints.” (Felty, Darren. "An overview of To Kill a Mockingbird.) After Tom Robinson is shot, his death is compared to “the senseless slaughter of songbirds,” (Lee, 241) and at the end of the book Scout thinks that hurting the truly sweethearted Boo Radley is nothing but a good, innocent man. Last but not least, Jem and Scout’s last name is Finch (another type of small bird) indicating that they are particularly vulnerable in the racist world of Maycomb, which often treats the fragile innocence of childhood harshly. (Dave, R .A. "To Kill A Mockingbird: Harper Lee's Tragic Vision.")
In conclusion, It shows that Harper Lee uses symbolism to not only show the story’s major themes but to foreshadow the future of the story. Good and Evil is something that will always be in our world, and all we can do is be the better person like the mockingbirds.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Symbolism In TKAM

    • 703 Words
    • 3 Pages

    November 2015 Symbolism in TKAM Symbolism plays a huge part in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. A mockingbird is a form of symbolism that can describe many of the characters in this book. The county of Maycomb and Boo Radley are other examples of symbolism. In TKAM, Maycomb, Boo Radley, and the mockingbirds are all used by Harper Lee to either foreshadow or symbolize something In TKAM, the mockingbird is the most recognizable form of symbolism in the book. A mockingbird…

    • 703 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    TKAM

    • 1237 Words
    • 5 Pages

    which entry. Directions: 1. Go to www.tinyurl.com/steigman or http://teacherweb.com/LA/FontainebleauHighSchool/Steigman 2. Click on Class Documents Spring 2010 3. RIGHT click on TKAM Quote Analysis Forms and save to the DESKTOP 4. Minimize the webpage and open the document from the desktop (it will be TKAM-Quote-Analysis-Form). This is a three-page document. You will be typing your information into these documents. 5. While you are working, save frequently. 6. Save the document onto a flash…

    • 1237 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    tkam

    • 377 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Bravery and Courage In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee published in 1960 there are many different themes throughout the entire story. A theme that really stood out to me was bravery and courage. There are so many different ways that bravery and courage were demonstrated, and shown by different characters. To begin with, bravery is shown by Atticus towards Tom Robinson.” It’s when you know your licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what, you…

    • 377 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Tkam

    • 642 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Courage to Continue In most works of literature, a character faces a difficult feat. Atticus, Jonas, and Malala, are all courageous. The bravery and courage in them all is outstanding. Why did they not quit as so many others had? They were scared, but faced their fears. You do not have to be strong, educated or rich to stand up for what they believe in. “True courage means doing the right thing, even in the face of seemingly impossible challenges or obstacles” In the book “To Kill a Mockingbird…

    • 642 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Tkam

    • 1106 Words
    • 5 Pages

    The film version of To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), which stars Gregory Peck as Atticus and Mary Badham as Scout, is as much a classic as the novel itself. (The film received eight Academy Awards nominations and netted awards for Best Actor, Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, and Best Art Direction — Set Decoration, Black and White.) Ideally, a novel and its film version complement each other, which, on many levels, is the case with To Kill a Mockingbird. However, film can…

    • 1106 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Tkam

    • 1276 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Life and Earth science:- Sun safety survey Introduction: In our sun safety survey we decided to base the questions we asked, around ‘Does peer pressure affect your sun safety?’ We conducted our survey using survey monkey and then we posted it onto any social networking sites that we had eg.Facebook to determine whether teens are affected by it or not. We will show our results in bar graphs. Hypothesis: I believe that the amount of teens that are aware of the dangers of skin cancer and being…

    • 1276 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    TKAM

    • 1298 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Can a hero be defined thoroughly? A hero is a person who carries divergent qualities and abilities and is admired by others for his achievements and his brave deeds. In the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Atticus Finch is exhibited as man who stuck with his morals, values, beliefs and ethics regarding all situations he was put through throughout the novel. He stood on his ground, making a luminous understanding to the people of Maycomb that nothing would affect his thinking. Finch is a…

    • 1298 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    TKAM

    • 446 Words
    • 2 Pages

    By: Jassitee Carter To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee Harper Lee uses words such as devoured and eaten to create a threatening effect to the house fire. It gives the impression that the house is being attacked or eaten by a monster. This idea would be scary to the children because they are young, and are most likely afraid of things such as monsters.It adds depth and understanding to the situation so that as a reader, we create a mental image of the fire and it's strength. The imagery used adds…

    • 446 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    tkam

    • 291 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Basic School Info: Full Name- University of North Florida School Colors- Blue and Grey Mascot- Osprey Type- Public Website- www.unf.edu Tuition- In State Graduate=$408.10 Out Of State Graduate=$932.61 Extracurricular: Clubs- Auto Racing Club, Boxing Club, Florida Engineering Alliance, Marine Bio. Club, Relay for Life, Rugby, Spanish Club, Sports-  Men: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Tennis, Track & Field  Woman: Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball…

    • 291 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    TKAM

    • 683 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Development is a process involving change in thinking, feeling and behaving. A change must be relatively permanent or ‘lasting’ to be considered a developmental change. Many developmental changes are age-related and occur throughout the lifespan. Change is not necessarily gaining something or doing something better. Change can also involve cessation or loss eg. menarche (first occurrence of menstruation) vs menopause (menstruation stops). jweai;sjdowradkj;lsosok;efwdsfiujlkefiwvdusifjlkifdusjlkjlieuwdfsjkihjlfksm…

    • 683 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays