Essay on Us of Symbols in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Decent Essays
Describe an important symbol or symbols in the text you have studied and analyse how the symbol helped to develop ideas in the text.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a story of racial prejudice and social class set in a time when such narrow-mindedness was considered acceptable and apart of every day life in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama. Narrated and based around Scout (Jean Louise) Finch and the many ordeals she and her brother (Jem) face in the years of their growing up; out of the childhood innocence they once possessed to realise the true evils of their community and shed false pretences surrounding the innocence of two such characters as Boo Radley and Tom Robinson for which the community of Maycomb had long
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In a sense they are only seen through the eyes of other less innocent birds who know only what they have heard from others. This symbol of the Mockingbird helps to create the idea in Scout’s mind that what the community of Maycomb is doing to Boo Radley and Tom Robinson is in fact a sin as they do not do anything to harm anyone else within the neighbourhood and exist solely to sing their songs for all those who will hear them.
In To Kill A Mockingbird Mrs Dubose’ Camellias are a symbol of courage in both her own personality and in that of Jem. In the novel Jem loses his head when Mrs Dubose insulted his father saying that he was “no better than the niggers and trash he works for,” Jem reacted by destroying all of Mrs Dubose’ Camellias that she had spent so long growing and as a punishment was forced to re-grow the Camellias and come to read to the sick old lady everyday for a month taking a lot of courage to overcome his emotions in order to avoid further trouble. This also forces Jem to get to know Mrs Dubose as more than just a cranky old lady who takes pleasure in insulting others but also as a courageous woman that is battling and is eventually able to overcome a morphine addiction. The Camellias represent this through their growth particularly the waxy Camellia or the “snow-on-the-mountain,” as it grew through the care
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