What Does Tom Symbolize In To Kill A Mockingbird

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In the 1950s, the civil rights movement gained popularity. Rosa Parks remains one of the most prominent and impactful leaders of the civil rights movement. On December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks sat in the front row of the “colored” section of seats on the bus. When the “white seats” filled up the driver asked Parks to move from her seat to make room for a white person. Rosa Parks refused and stayed seated. She then got arrested and fined for her act. The social norms targeted and harmed Rosa Parks and the African Americans of the time regardless of their harmlessness. Similarly, in To Kill A Mockingbird, Tom Robinson and Boo Radley endure hate and judgment despite their innocence. In Harper Lee’s novel To Kill A Mockingbird, the mockingbird symbolizes …show more content…
When Mayella Ewell asks Tom for assistance with her chores he helps her because of his good character. As a result of his continuous help Mayella’s feelings towards him grows causing her father, Bob Ewell, to become furious. During Tom’s trial Mr. Gilmer, the prosecutor, asks Tom to explain why he regularly aids Mayella with her chores. Tom replies, “ ‘... I felt sorry for her, she seemed to try to more’n the rest of ’em-’ ‘You felt sorry for her, you felt sorry for her?’ Mr. Gilmer seemed ready to rise to the ceiling. The witness realized his mistake and shifted uncomfortably in the chair. But the damage was done. Below us, nobody liked Tom’s answer”(Lee 264). Tom only aims to help Mayella, but others see Tom’s pity towards Mayella as him putting himself above a white woman. Nevertheless, Tom remains a victim of inequality and prejudice despite his kindness to Mayella. Additionally, Tom represents a Mockingbird when the prison guards senselessly shoot him as he tries to escape. After the trial Tom is found guilty …show more content…
Boo exemplifies a Mockingbird when he leaves gifts for Scout and Jem in a knot-hole in the tree. As Scout and Jem walk across the school yard they spot twine in a knot-hole in the Radley house tree. At first they think that the knot-hole belongs to someone else as their hiding spot, but they come back later and find the twine still there. They take it unsure of who left the twine in the knot-hole. A couple weeks later, Scout and Jem walk out again when something in the knot-hole captures their attention. Lee writes, “...we found a whole package of chewing gum, which we enjoyed, the fact that everything from the Radley’s house was poison having slipped Jem’s memory” (Lee 80-81). Boo leaves goods in the knot-hole in attempt to befriend Scout and Jem despite the fact that Scout and Jem believe Boo to be a cruel person. Boo striving to make a connection between him and the kids displays his kind heartedness which contradicts what the people of Maycomb believe about Boo. Furthermore, Boo symbolizes a mockingbird when he saves Jem and Scout from Bob Ewell’s attack on them. When Scout and Jem walk home Bob Ewell attempts to attack them. Boo Radley intervenes and kills Bob Ewell in order to protect Scout and Jem. After Boo saves Scout and Jem from the attack the Sheriff, Mr. Tate, explains to Atticus that Bob killed himself. Mr. Tate explains his

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