Symbolism In Harper Lee's 'To Kill A Mockingbird'

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The mockingbird is the dominant symbol throughout the novel. All mockingbirds do is sing, and bring pleasure. They don't destroy plants. All mockingbirds do is try to bring joy. Some people can be described as mockingbirds too. Boo Radley, for example, has never hurt the town since he shut himself away, yet nasty rumors have sprung up about him. Despite his normal diet, Jem believes that every evening he dines "on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch." (p. 16) Jem thinks Boo's hands are "bloodstained" (p. 16), and he wears a "long jagged scar" (p. 16) This gruesome, sickly description shows how people have hurt Boo, even though it has been many years since he even did anything bad for the community. In reality, Boo's skin is "sickly white" (p. 362) and looks as though he has "never seen the sun" (p. 362). People have hurt him by expelling any possibility of him being kind from their minds. …show more content…
Despite his impairment, he was a fine specimen of man" (p. 257). He looks like "soft black velvet" (p. 257). Whenever someone needed help, even if it was a Ewell, he was "glad to do it" (p. 256) with "no charge" (p. 255). He always tried to compliment people, and make them feel good about themselves. When accused of hurting someone, he honestly states "I wouldn't do that" (p. 257). But despite his clear honesty, he is still convicted. Eventually, he runs, knowing no matter what he does, he will always be looked down upon. Because of this, he is killed. Tom was innocent, and only did kind deeds for his community, like a mockingbird's song. But, he is killed, like a helpless mockingbird. Boo Radley and Tom Robinson both helped their communities, but were frowned upon because of their looks and ways of living. If they had been 'normal' they would have been heroes of Macomb, but they were different, so they were not. The both "sang their hearts out" (p. 119) for their community, like a mockingbird, but were somehow punished for

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