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To Kill a Mocking Bird

Essay by review  •  September 2, 2010  •  Essay  •  766 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,244 Views

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Summary

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee is a story written written to show the importance of black people in the 1930's. It is a good story with a good point. The prime messages observed in this novel is that of racism, how the actions of a community, not just a parent, can affect a child, and how rumors and invalidated facts can destroy anyone's reputation. Racism is mentioned throughout the second part of the novel. It is the prime and most mentioned part of this section of the novel.

There are many themes and symbols in this book. Scouts father, Atticus, tells Scout and Jem, "I'd rather you shoot at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you'll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit them, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." This passage is where she got the name for her book. During the 1950's in the small county of Maycomb, the mentality of most southern people reflected that of the nation. Most of the people were racist. In the novel, these ideas are explored through a young girl by the name of Scout. The readers see the events that occur through her eyes. The novel centers on the trial of Tom Robinson. To the people of Maycomb County, Tom Robinson is just a "sorry nigger," who committed an unthinkable crime. Tom represents the black race in American society. He is a victim of racism, which was the major controversy in our culture during that time. Like Boo Radley, Tom Robinson is characterized by what the people of Maycomb say about him. And after being accused of rape, many people see him as a beast.

In this novel Harper Lee uses a lot of symbolism that has to do with racism in the South at that time. The mockingbird is a symbol for two of the characters in this novel: Tom Robinson and Boo Radly. The mockingbird symbolizes these two characters because it does not have its own song. The blue Jay is loud and obnoxious: the mockingbird only sings other birds' songs. Because the mockingbird does not sing its own song, we characterize it by what the other birds' sing. We see the mockingbird through other birds. The mockingbird symbolizes Boo Radley, since he is innocent, and would never harm anyone. He just stays inside because he does not want to face the corrupt and prejudice world outside.

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