“To Kill a Mockingbird” Analysis
Harper Lee published “To Kill a Mockingbird “ in 1960, a time buzzing with racial segregation and irrational injustice. She based the book on various events that were all to real, only fifty years ago. Throughout the book, the author captures these horrendous inequalities and is able to explore these subjects through various situations and characters. However, it is not always just the color of one’s skin as to the reason of why they are treated differently. Lee is able to display examples of prejudice based on class and status of a person, rather than race alone, through the use of abstract symbols through the use of characters.
Harper Lee use birds to ...view middle of the document...
Mrs. Dubose’s white camellias symbolize the hatred Jem holds towards the white community of Maycomb. “Since camellia flowers are white, their destruction could exemplify Jem trying to destroy the ways of the prejudiced white people of Maycomb County.” (Smykowski) Even as a child, Jem has the capability to grasp the magnitude of the discrimination of the adults in his community. Atticus later forces Jem to read to Mrs. Dubose and nurse the flowers back to health. This symbolizes Jem’s courage and patience with all the prejudice that is occurring in his time. In this situation, Jem is generalizing all the citizens of Maycomb, when there actually could be some that are more understanding such as Atitcus. Jem and Scout are very disgruntled with the racism that is encountered throughout the book, but Atticus encourages them to handle it through tolerance in hope that it will eventually change. It is rare for whites to treat other races with respect in the setting of this book, but it is unfair for Jem to assume that his entire race believes in said discrimination. Jem is now specifically criticizing those people, just as what the whites do to the African Americans.
Boo Radley could be one of the examples of a mockingbird, but is in fact his own symbol himself. Boo is assumed by the citizens of Maycomb to be some scary human being. Due to rumors that have been said about him, Maycomb County has a preconceived notion of him when they actually know nothing of him. Scout has been caught up in believing the stories told of him. This is most clearly exemplified by the game that they play to try and make him come out of the house. “Boo Radley is a compelling enigma and source of adventure for the children, but he also represents Scout’s most personal lesson in judging others based upon surface appearance.” (Felty) Scout later realizes how wrong it is for her to have judged Boo based on what others had said. “Her newfound ability to see things from his perspective ensures that she will not become disillusioned as she grows into a young adult.” (Kasper) Everyone knows that Boo is also white. So the prejudice the citizens hold towards him is an example of when race isn’t a factor. It is all based on the gossip of Boo and what stories people have made up of him. “Scout feels remorse over the children’s isolation of Boo because their fear and the prejudices they had accepted at face value. As a result of her experiences with Boo, she can never be comfortable with such behavior again.” (Felty) Scout’s realization of her wrong judgments shows the discontent she holds with others having a negative outlook on people without really knowing them. This translates to the Tom Robinson trial and gives a further example of the tolerance a child of her age can absorb compared to the stubbornness of the adults in her town.
Mr. Raymond is a symbol of judgment put forth by fellow citizens, but justifying it through the use of alcohol. Mr. Raymond is wealthy...