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How Is Symbolism Used In To Kill A Mockingbird

Decent Essays
Someone once said “No matter your social status or how powerful you think you are, we are all equal.” The quote has much to do with the racism and segregation that people went through while living in America, especially in the South. It still is a relevant quote today, seeing as how racism and segregation has not ended, but increased over the decades. In Harper Lee’s classic, To Kill A Mockingbird, the small town of Maycomb, Alabama consists of plenty of racism and segregation. When Atticus is obligated to defend the man accused of rape, the whole town is hoping for him to prove his client is guilty. They’re quick to make a judgement about him, solely because he’s a black man. In this novel, several craft moves/techniques are used which then…show more content…
Throughout this book, the author uses multiple techniques of symbolism to achieve a goal which is for the reader to stir up empathy for the characters. Take notice in the middle of the book, when the author mentions the main example of symbolism, which is said by Atticus while speaking to Jem. During Christmas when the Finch’s are at Finch's landing Atticus gives Jem and Scout their own air rifles. He then tells Jem, “I’d rather you shot a tin cans in the back yard, 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.” (Lee, 90) Mockingbirds are innocent and only play soothing music for people. They don’t destroy gardens, only soothe us with the music they produce. So, mockingbirds are innocent and so it’s a sin to kill them because they do not do anything wrong. In short simple words, it is a sin to kill the innocent. In the courtroom, Tom who is being accused with rape, is in the hot seat while everyone is judging him without knowing the whole story. It makes things worse when he is charged guilty. This makes the reader feel empathy for him because he is being accused…show more content…
“When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.” This was the first sentence of the entire novel and a flashback of what had happened in the past. It sets up the problem and since Bob Ewell had had previous disagreements and conflicted moments with Atticus, it would only make sense that he would go after Atticus’s children. The flashback is foreshadowing something about the conflict. In addition to that, while in the courtroom during the trial, Atticus reveals that Tom Robinson has no use of his left arm because “He got it caught in a cotton gin, caught it in Mr. Dolphin Raymond's cotton gin when he was a boy...like to bled to death...tore all the muscles loose from his bones.” Which could be setting up the problem for the antagonists who in this book, are Bob and Mayella Ewell. Now that Atticus has proven that Tom has no use of his left hand, it means he most likely didn’t beat Mayella as it would have been too challenging for him to beat the right side of her face using only his right hand. Which overall means that Mayella and Bob have no clear evidence that it was Tom who beat Mayella. Bob Ewell, though, was shown to be left handed. Based on what you’ve just read, clearly Harper Lee included flashbacks in the story to set up the conflict which later came up in the
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