Symbolism in To Kill A Mockingbird

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The novel To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, takes place during the depression of the 1930s in a small Alabama town, by the name of Maycomb. Due to Lee’s ingenious way of writing she not only creates a theme of prejudice and racism, but a novel that is rich in symbolism. She cleverly incorporates mockingbirds, the rabid dog and Atticus shooting the rabid dog, Mrs. Dubose’s morphine addiction and finally Mr. Dolphus Raymond to reveal the racist, prejudice and narrow-mindedness of a vast majority of the citizens in Maycomb. “It’s a sin to kill a mockingbird”(103), said by Atticus and later echoed my Miss Maudie, is one of the most symbolic lines in the entire novel. The symbolism behind this line applies to many scenes within the novel. The literal meaning for it is “mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us”(103). This is symbolic of Tom Robinson, his trial, conviction and death. It is symbolic for the simple fact that Tom Robinson is just an innocent man trying to live his life. All he ever did was try to be a good, honest person and help Mayella Ewell when she was in need. In return he lost his freedom and his life. All because Mayella Ewell felt the need to cover up the fact that “she kissed a black man” and broke “a rigid and time-honored code of our society, a code so severe that whoever breaks it is hounded from our midst as unfit to live with”(232). Another event compared to killing a mockingbird is Boo Radley and the death of Bob Ewell. Atticus, Scout and Heck Tate all know that Boo Radley killed Bob Ewell, but Heck Tate also knows that there is very little chance that he would ever get convicted for it. Thus, there is no reason to tell anyone when the only thing it would do is bring Boo Radley out into
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