Symbolism And Racism In To Kill A Mockingbird

Superior Essays
From the release of the novel, until now, people consider To Kill a Mockingbird as a successful indictment of racism. However, should people really consider the text as a successful indictment of racism, while it uses racism to prove its points? The article, “Symbolism and Racism” by Adam Smykowski is one of the articles that think To Kill a Mockingbird successfully indicts racism. However, examples from the article “Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird” by Isaac Saney and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, may make a reader think towards the other side. The use of the n word, the false excerpt of lynching in the book, and the main symbol of a mockingbird not being able to tell the message of the story without implying some racism are all examples …show more content…
“Symbolism and Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird” is one of the texts that say it is a successful indictment. One of the reasons it says this is because of the mockingbird symbol, “ After careful study, however, one begins to see that this is just another example of symbolism in the novel. Harper Lee uses symbolism rather extensively throughout this story, and much of it refers to the problem of racism in the South, during the early twentieth century” (Smykowski 52). The quote is saying that the whole passage on shooting blue jays and not mockingbirds is trying to symbolize the racist problems in the South. However, it is just being racist by separating blue jays and mockingbirds just like how Caucasian and African American people were separated. “Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird” confirms why the use of mockingbirds as a symbol do not successfully indict racism when it states, “What these lines say is that black people are useful and harmless creatures -akin to decorous pets- that should not be treated brutally ” ( Saney 2). Readers can start to realize that the book’s main symbol of mockingbirds is actually not a very good indictment of racism because it is degrading African American people all the way down to animals. It is hitting straight at slavery and how African American people were very helpful, but at the same time they …show more content…
Throughout the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, uses the n word 48 times, even though there is no need to use the offensive term once because it does not help convey its message about racism any better than it would have if it did not use the word. Secondly, one of the main scenes in the book is about lynching, however the way it is told in the book is a wrong perspective of lynching because Harper Lee sugarcoats the acts of Caucasian men by writing about Atticus saving Tom from a lynching, even though there are no documentations of Caucasian men helping African American men during these horrific acts. Finally, the main symbol of a mockingbird in To Kill a Mockingbird is not a good indictment of racism because it can be interpreted in a way that makes it very racist and a bad indictment of racism because the comparison of blue jays and mockingbirds could easily be put up next to the comparison of African American and Caucasian people. Through the flaws of the story with Harper Lee’s indictment of racism, it may be unclear on why racism was such a big problem. Although readers will not be able to truly understand the problems of racism throughout this book, they can learn more about the problem and why it is so big through social

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