In this novel the most significant symbol is the mocking bird. A
mocking bird is a type of Finch: a small, discrete bird with a
beautiful song, which 'mocks' or imitates the other birds' song. One
of the most explicit references made about mocking birds is that in
chapter 10. Atticus is telling Scout and Jem how top use their
shotguns for the first time, he says, 'Shoot all the bluejays you
want, if you can hit'em but remember it's a sign to kill a
Mockingbird.' Harper Lee uses symbolism implicitly to liken mocking
birds to certain characters and explicit references to describe the
atmosphere created by events throughout the book.
Mocking birds are used throughout the novel to represent innocence;
Miss Maudie explains this to Scout. Scout is surprised to hear
non-judgemental Atticus calling anything a sin. She asks Miss Maudie
why Atticus has said it is wrong and she replies with the explanation,
'Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They
don't eat up people's gardens, don't mess in corncribs, they don't do
one thing but sign their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to
kill a Mockingbird.' By saying this Miss Maudie is saying they do
nothing to threaten us our harm us and are effectively innocent, so
why kill them pointlessly.
Mocking birds are reflected explicitly during the narrative connecting
it to times of tension. Chapter 12 sees the mad dog incident take
place, the mocking birds are thought to fall silent at this point, as
there is a real threat present...
... middle of paper ...
...nd when he is sent to prison. Such domination led Tom to try
and escape from prison and in doing so cause his death.
Both characters are caring, for example, Boo Radley gives Jem and
Scout two figurines, chewing gum, a tarnished medal, pocket watch and
an aluminium knife via a knot-hole in a tree in the Radley property.
However, Mr Radley cements the hole so Boo cannot send gifts to the
children anymore, this is also an example of Boo's domination. Tom
Robinson helps Mayella Ewell on her property do many chores, as he
feels sorry for her. On the evening of his accused crime he was asked
by Mayella to fix a door in the house. He never accepted any money
from Mayella for doing these tasks. In this way he is alike a mocking
bird, he is caring. Harper Lee uses all these devices to accentuate
the symbol of a mocking bird.
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