In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, symbolism is used throughout the story. The main symbol, however, is the mockingbird. It used over and over throughout the novel and it also has a literal connection to the main plot of the story. This story is about innocence being destroyed by evil. The mockingbird represents the innocence. Therefore, if you kill a mockingbird, you are destroying innocence. There are many characters that could possibly represent the mockingbird, and most of them have come in contact with some type of evil or pain in their lives.
As children grow up, they open their eyes to the harsh truths in the world around them that they once did not understand or question. This is experienced by the main characters of Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird. The story is of a girl called Scout and her older brother, Jem, who go through the trials of growing up in the fictional small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930s. Racism is rampant in the mindset of the townspeople, shown when the children’s lawyer father, Atticus, takes the case of an obviously innocent African-American man and they convict him in their hearts before the trial even starts. Through this all, we can see the theme of loss of innocence in the children. Lee uses characterization to portray
Boo Radley never harmed anyone, but was judged by the rumors spreading across the community. Although he was not actually introduced until the end of the novel, Boo Radley is set up to be the last discovered symbolic character for the image of the mockingbird. During the last chapter of the novel, Scout comes to the realization that blaming Boo for Bob Ewell's death would be "sort of like shooting' a mockingbird." (chapter 30). Getting Boo sent to jail or killed would be like killing a mockingbird. Boo is truly a good person. He left gifts for Jem and Scout in the trunk of a tree, he wrapped a blanket around them when Miss Maudie's house caught on fire, and he saved them from Bob Ewell when he tried to murder them. Boo Radley is a victim of Maycomb's social prejudice and a perfect representation of Harper Lee's description of the mockingbird.
Scout, Jem, and Dill work many summers to try to get Boo to come out of the Radley house for the first time in many years. Jem had been told many things about Boo in his short years in Maycomb, and he tells his sister Scout about the ‘monster’, saying, “Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that’s why his hands were bloodstained—if you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time” (chap. 1). Jem’s ideas about Boo are very biased toward rumors that can be heard around Maycomb. This shows how Maycomb’s people often judge before they know, seeing as no one has seen Boo Radley in over twenty years and people are prejudiced to believing the unknown is always bad. Prejudice and rumors can often not be trusted and Boo Radley is no exception. After Miss Maudie’s house catches fire and half the town rushes outside to watch it burn, Atticus tells Scout, “someday you should thank him for covering you up” then Scout asks, “Thank Who?” And gets a response from Atticus, “Boo Radley. You were too busy looking at the fire, you didn’t even notice when he put the blanket around you” (chap. 8). Boo Radley is not really a bad person, he
“But they also heard rumors that Boo Radley only comes out at night not during the day.” Scout and Jem start thinking that Boo Radley is a scary man or he is evil. The first time that Scout and Jem saw Boo Radley face, was when he saved them from Bob Ewell. Ever since Boo Radley saved them Jem and Scout stop believing all the rumors they heard about Boo Radley. Boo Radley can be compared to a mocking bird because mockingbirds are calm and don’t hurt others. That’s why Boo Radley is considered a mockingbird because he never hurt any known or bothered any known. The sad part was that Boo Radley was killed by couple of town’s people because he never came out because he was shy. (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081010185527AAZEssX)
Tom Robinson is an example of a mockingbird in To Kill a Mockingbird. Tom Robinson was a black man in 1930, therefor it was unfair from the start. Tom Robinson was nothing but a kind man, he never harmed anyone. Tom saw Mayella struggling around the house. Her father was a drunk that left her to fend for her and the children. She did her best but once in awhile when Tom was passing by the EWell house Mayella would invite him inside the fence to see if her would help her with little tasks. One day she invited him inside to fix a door. When he got inside to fix the door her found there was nothing wrong with the door. That is when Mayella kissed Tom, however Tom is wrongfully charged with rape.
The book, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, written by Harper Lee, is a very impactful novel that acutely connects an intricate plot and story to American history itself, specifically the time of the Great Depression, where racial oppression was rather common, and sadly, accepted. This novel dives into the harsh times of the Great Depression and gives readers a rather sufficient understanding of what life was like back then. In this novel, there are a plethora of archetypes, those being symbols, motifs, themes, myths, and characters that have a deep impact on the story’s development.
At the end of To Kill a Mockingbird Scout and Jem were almost brutally stabbed and suffocated by Bob Ewell. However, Boo came out of his house them. This took him so much courage as he was afraid of the world outside of his “prison”. His love for the children drove him to do this. Even though in the beginning he did a small bit of bad, he is truly a“mockingbird”. Boo was even referenced by Scout as a mockingbird after he saved Jem and her’s life by killing their attacker. When Boo’s actions were to be covered up, she stated, “Well it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird (by giving Boo undesired attention), wouldn’t it?” (Lee 370). Miss Maudie's quote morphed into describing Boo, just one of many ways it was seen in the book.
Tom Robinson’s character exemplifies the mockingbird because he is a black man who is denied justice based on racial prejudice. After Mayella Ewell accuses Tom of rape, there is no way for him to be judged fairly because the narrow-minded, white townspeople are unable to get past their prejudices towards blacks. At his trial, Tom’s lawyer, Atticus, argues,
He is referred to as a mockingbird because he suffers he is stuck and constantly talked negatively by the town.It's the only form of contact he has with the outside world. Boo (Arthur Radley) is actually a very shy character who is often misjudged by society including scout and jem. As the story goes on, we find Scout beginning to realize Boo radelys true intentions and the situation when she tells Atticus that exposing Boo would be "sort of like shootin' a mockingbird, wouldn't it?” Throughout the novel, Scout, Jem, and Dill are curious about the "mysterious" Boo Radley because he never comes outside from his house or associates with anyone in the neighborhood.
First, Harper uses Boo Radley as a symbol of a mockingbird. Boo and his friends locked locked Mr.Conner into the courthouse outhouse and the town decided to do something about it. Mr.Conner pressed charges on them and the judge decided the boys would be sent to the state industrial school. Mr. Radley thought it was a prison and said no to his son going. So Mr.Radley locked Boo in the basement for his whole life. Jem said “There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time” (16). Jem is describing what Boo looks like to Scout and
Maturity often goes hand in hand with change. Whether it is just growing up or learning from one’s mistakes, change brings new perspective that helps people for the better. The main characters in Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird go through a series of such changes throughout the story such as losing their innocence, growing up, and coming to the realization of their town’s unfair prejudices. The transition from being innocent and oblivious to more mature and aware is extremely evident in several identities in the novel. The novel approaches the question of whether or not the people of Maycomb need some change and new perspective by dramatizing Scout, Jem, and Dill’s transition from a perspective of childhood innocence.
In ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ written by Harper Lee, the author has used numerous different methods to portray the themes of innocence, maturity and growing up. These themes were put in so that the audience could become more empathetic towards the characters, especially the protagonists. She depicts these themes through characters, events, using symbolism, imagery and contrast located throughout the book.
Boo Radley was the reclusive man who never setted foot outside his house. He is a powerful symbol of goodness. In the Halloween night when Jem and Scout returned from school, Boo Radley saved them from Bob Ewell who tried to kill them by the knife because of the hatred with Atticus Finch. Then he carried unconscious Jem home to the safety of the Finch house. Boo watched Jem and Scout day by day and gave them soft of gifts in a tree outside the Radley place. There was a lot of imagination with rumors about his appearance but he was scare to appear to save Jem and Scout. "First of all," Atticus said, "if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things form his point of view until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." Jem and Scout learned some of things from Boo that they could not judge people without knowing them. Boo Radley was one of the novel’s “mockingbirds,” a good person injured by the evil of
did not allow anyone to visit him or have the slightest contact with him. Eventually Boo's mental state triggers him to stabbed his father with a pair of scissors. Boo's fathers causes Boo to suffer innocently by stealing his childhood experiences away from him. This indicates that Boo is a mockingbird because he did very little to deserve this torment and isolation that his father inflicted upon him. Then, Jem and Scout from the beginning of the story never fully understood Boo's past life at all, yet they judged him on things they hear about. They suspect he was basically an evil monster that never comes out of his house. Scout starts the stereotyping by creating a nickname “Boo” for the innocent Arthur Radley. This nickname robs Arthur of his true name and identity, causing him to suffer. Furthermore, Jem and Scout constantly pester Boo in an attempt to discover his actual identity. They tell their best friend Dill that Boo is like a zombie. Jem describes Boo as being: “About six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cat he could catch, that's why his hands were bloodstained-if you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he and he drooled most of the time” (Lee 13). The stereotypical image created by Jem completely robs Boo