Symbolism In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird



"I'd rather you shoot at tin cans in the backyard, but 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." This is what Atticus Finch
tells his children after they are given air-rifles for Christmas. Uniquely,
the title of the classic novel by Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird, was
taken from this passage. At first glance, one may wonder why Harper Lee
decided to name her book after what seems to be a rather insignificant
excerpt. After careful study, however, one begins to see that this is just
another example of symbolism in the novel. Harper Lee uses symbolism rather
extensively throughout this story, and ...

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entirely out of snow, so Jem made a foundation out of dirt, and
then covered it with what snow they had. One could interpret this in two
different ways. First of all, the creation of the snowman by Jem can be
seen as being symbolic of Jem trying to cover up the black man and showing
that he is the same as the white man, that all human beings are virtually
the same. Approval of these views is shown by Atticus when he tells Jem, "I
didn't know how you were going to do it, but from now on I'll never worry
about what'll become of you, son, you'll always have an idea." The fire
that night that engulfed Miss Maudie Atkinson's house can be seen as the
prejudice of Maycomb County, as the fire melted the snow from the snowman,
and left nothing but a clump of mud. The fire depicts the prejudice people
of the county saying that blacks and whites are, certainly, not the same.
Another way of looking at the symbolism of the snowman would be to say that
Jem's combination of mud and snow ...

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of their aims to change the racist
ways of Maycomb. The actions of the children do, indeed, symbolize various
themes in the racist South.

The behavior of the prejudice white people of Maycomb County is
greatly expressive, as well. For example, the red geraniums that Mayella
Ewell kept in her yard are very illustrative. These flowers represent
"Southern white womanhood." The fence that surrounds the Ewells property is
symbolic of the fear and racism of the Southern whites that tries to
protect this womanhood. The purity of the womanhood is being protected from
miscegenation, from the black man. As the black quarters lie just beyond
the Ewell's house, the entire scene (the flowers, ...

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Added: 12/17/2003 09:08:11 PM
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