Symbolism In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

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Many popular authors utilize symbolism in their writing to create an image without stating the obvious. Authors may use symbolism to bring a situation that may have been unnoticed to the reader’s attention. For example, Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird altogether symbolizes the Civil Rights Era. Lee emphasizes events that happened between the 1930’s and the 1960’s by elaborating on those events from a child’s perspective. Even though Scout Finch is the main character of the novel, the other characters also contribute to many aspects of the story through their symbolic representations. The characters in To Kill a Mockingbird symbolize human traits, societal flaws, and changes that occur in Maycomb County, Alabama. Atticus Finch symbolizes…show more content…
The Finches’ neighbor, Miss Maudie Atkinson, says, “Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets” (Lee 61). This determines that Atticus is humble because he is a wealthy lawyer with potential to be first class; however, he displays that a higher-class lifestyle is not necessary. Stiltner states, “Honesty, which indicates the moral responsibility of people and the humbleness of their hearts, establishes whether an individual values the respect of others” (27). Atticus values others’ opinions, but he does not flaunt when he knows he is correct, which proves that he sees himself as an ordinary man and not a higher figure. After a small mishap with Bob Ewell, Bob spits in his face. In Constantina Michalos’ analysis, “Father’s Day in Maycomb County,” she explains, “Atticus has taken Ewell’s repulsive spittle on the jaw to protect Mayella and the other children from his impotent rage” (15). Atticus could have easily defended himself or even threatened Mr. Ewell, but his only comment on the situation is, “I wish Bob Ewell wouldn’t chew tobacco” (Lee 291). Atticus never abuses his role in society or uses his status to glorify himself. Atticus feels that it is more important to be a genuine person than a rich person, and his humble personality proves that he is also…show more content…
The Tom Robinson case closely parallels the Emmet Till case, and in both situations a black man lost his life over a false assumption; the cases were over before they even began. In both cases, two innocent black men were brutally murdered and could never return to their loving families again. Tom’s significance in the novel is to show readers how inhumane some situations were back in the mid 1900’s. Although he is dead, he is respected by some in the town and hated by others, as was Till. Because Tom is of a different race, he is negatively judged. However, some white people in Maycomb are judged for their differences,

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