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Motifs In To Kill A Mockingbird

Decent Essays
To Kill A Mockingbird is a book that a reader can turn again and again, gaining new insights and knowledge into life each time. Sometimes an author uses a motif- a frequently repeated incident or idea -to get a certain theme across to the reader. In To Kill A Mockingbird, Lee uses motifs to clarify her messages or insights about life. Three specific motifs that Lee uses throughout the whole story are the mockingbird, courage, and walking in someone else's shoes. Throughout the majority of the book, Lee uses a motif related to a mockingbird. This symbolizes how hunting harmless and innocent beings is senseless and the worst crime one can commit against humanity. Mockingbirds are harmless animals who do nothing but bring joy to people with…show more content…
You can not truly understand a person or a group until you consider it from their point of view. Atticus introduces this idea to Scout in the beginning of the book, he says “‘ You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.’”(39). Atticus says this when Scout comes home with a problem from school. She tried defending the Cunningham boy because her teacher didn't know much about their town yet. Scout was upset about this because she didn't think she deserved to get in trouble, but Atticus explained that she should look at it from her teachers side and understand the teacher wasn't well informed on the people in Maycomb. Later on in the novel, Scout uses this lesson she learned from Atticus This is when she puts Boo in the darker area of the porch. In the text it says, “... I led him to the chair farthest from Atticus and Mr. Tate. It was in deep shadow. Boo would feel more comfortable in the dark.”(364). In this situation, Scout takes Boo’s needs into consideration, she thinks what would be best for him. She noticed how he hid in the dark corner and how eventually Atticus moved outside where it was darker for that reason. This is because Boo felt like an outcast and felt more comfortable where less people could see him. Also, Scout takes Boo’s point of view in a…show more content…
Many would agree that Lee demonstrated her motifs extremely well. The motif of a mockingbird shows how innocent people get hurt at the fault of others. Courage is important because it shows the good in people and if you try you may be able to succeed, even if it's hard. Lastly, the motif of walking in someone else’s shoes shows how you can not fully understand someone and their actions until you see if from their point of view. Harper Lee uses these motifs with great skill to help show how human life is valuable and how you should respect
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