Comparative Essay-to Kill a Mockingbird and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

1065 Words5 Pages
Triginhall
Mrs. Teacher
Honors English 10
18 November 2012
Response to Literature
“The free bird thinks of another breeze….a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams…” The two literary works “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou and Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” can be seen as mockingbirds that have flown over fields of prejudice and repeat what they have seen for all to hear. Jem Finch, a young boy and lawyer’s son from “To Kill a Mockingbird” clearly symbolizes a mockingbird because of his youth and innocence, and because of his innocence he cannot fully understand the racism in the story. Jem also has many similarities to the caged and free birds in “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, whether it be Jem’s
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While Jem was a young boy he acted very similar to the free bird in “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. He lived life to its fullest never stopping to think of the racism he was being shielded from. “The free bird thinks of another breeze and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own.”(Angelou, 14-18) In this stanza of the poem you can infer that the free bird is very happy with life and never thinks of anything upsetting. The upsetting things in this instance would be the racism in the story; the free bird never stops to think about the caged bird. ”As the summer progressed, so did our game.”(Lee, pg. 52) When Jem and his sister Scout meet Dill, a boy in their neighbor’s yard, they get to know him and play with him. They are always thinking of improving their game, living life to its fullest as much as a kid can. When they are playing said game, Jem never stops to think about the racism in the world and is shielded from it by the fun of being a kid. Concluding that they are similar characters because both Jem and the free bird enjoy their lives. Another reason why the free bird and Jem , the symbol of a mockingbird are similar is they are both able to do what they please. “A free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ands and dips his wing

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