Symbolism In To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

1216 Words5 Pages
Mockingbirds are medium-sized grayish songbirds with a long tail and fourteen-inch wingspans, useful for flying quickly. Most unique about these fascinating birds, however, is their voices. Mockingbirds sing throughout most of the day and often into the night, a feat that makes these birds distinct from other bird species. They have almost two hundred songs in their repertoire, used mainly for mating purposes. Perhaps mockingbirds’ beautiful voices is the reason why Harper Lee chose them to symbolize “innocence and vulnerability” in her novel To Kill a Mockingbird (Bernard 78). Whatever the reason, Lee repeatedly emphasizes that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird, which later becomes a symbol for Tom, Boo, and racism in general. The theme of racism is primarily portrayed through Lee’s use of symbolism in To Kill a Mockingbird, a story in the 1930s South where racism, although much changed, still prevails today. Although racism still exists, portrayals such as the ones in Lee’s novel have changed people’s views on African Americans and other races. The mockingbird is a major symbol in the novel because of Atticus’ belief that it is a sin to kill this bird. He says, “Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you hit ‘em, but remember, it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird” (Lee 103). This belief stems from the concept that mockingbirds are innocent and do not harm anyone, so they should not be…show more content…
By killing Tom and alienating Boo from society, people are symbolically destroying their innocence, so they are also killing a mockingbird. Moreover, racism convicts Tom and distances Boo from society, but the South has changed dramatically since then. However, there is still much that individuals can do to conquer racism and end it in society once and for all. Eradicating racism from society would assure that no one’s innocence is destroyed and no more mockingbirds are

More about Symbolism In To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

Open Document