To Kill a Mockingbird
A creature that should never be killed because it is harmless and even provides song for the enjoyment of others.Boo Radley, Dolphus Raymon and Tom Robinson are basically blameless individuals who are at the mercy of society, yet society is cruel to Boo and Dolphus and ultimately Tom is murdered.The Mockingbird
Bluejays, on the other hand, are considered to be the bullies of the bird world. They are very loud, territorial, and aggressive.The Mockingbird vs Bluejays
Both Boo, Dolphus and Tom are discriminated against in Maycomb when they are, in fact, kind and gentle people.
Another angle: The mockingbird is a bird that has no song of its own; it just imitates other birds. Therefore it makes itself present by being seen through other birds
So, how do we know theyre mockingbirds?
Atticus tells the children that it is a sin to kill a mockingbirdMr. Underwood wrote in an editorial that it was a sin to kill cripples [and] he likened Toms death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children.Tom has never done anything wrong; he only works hard and tries to be a good man by helping others; this is his song.The Mockingbird Tom Robinson
When Heck Tate decided that he would not arrest (or publicly praise) Boo for killing Bob Ewell and that Bobs death would be presented as an accident, Atticus asked Scout if she understood the meaning of this decision. She replied saying she did: Well, itd be sort of like killing a mockingbird, wouldnt it?
The Mockingbird Boo Radley
Maycomb doesn't quite get Mr. Raymond. He's always drinking from a paper bag; he sits with the African-Americans; and Jem tells Scout and Dill that he's had several children with an African-American womaneven though he's from an old, rich family. Later, Scout and Dill find out that Mr. Raymond does care about what other people think, but not in the way they expected. His paper bag turns out to be hiding not whisky but Coke, and his constant drunkenness is a put-on. There's a reason: "When I come to town,  if I weave a little and drink out of this sack, folks can say Dolphus Raymond's in the clutches of whiskeythat's why he won't change his ways. He can't help himself, that's why he lives the way he does".Mr Raymond is a mockingbird because he mimics being a drunk to make things easier for the blue-jays of Maycomb. Hes actually a good man that is doing his best to live the life he wants. The Mockingbird Dolphus Raymond
Analysis How can you link the following two examples to real-life?The black community, being helpless under the white control of southern society, can also be seen as a potential mockingbird.Scout tells Dill and Dolphus Raymond that, Atticus says cheatin a colored man is ten times worse than cheatin a white manits the worst thing you can do. (ch 20)The Mockingbird
Reference to the Holocaust in Germany; persecution of Jews the only difference is that Miss Gates is compassionate about them. (ch 26)
It was the first snowstorm of Maycomb County since 1885Because there was only a feeble layer of soggy snow (92), Jem & Scout had to find other materials to build a snowman. With earth, Jem then scooped up some snow and began plastering it on (95).This snowman symbolizes the fact that the only way for humans to succeed in building civilization is for its races to work together.Symbolism: The Snowman
The dark earth = blacks, but as Scout says, Whoever heard of a n*r snowman?Jem then puts white snow over the foundation of earth; the whites are on top/ they dominateWithout snow, the snowman would not be true to its nameWithout earth, it would be a puny lump of snowThe more we work together, the more we can accomplishSymbolism: The Snowman
The foundation of the South was laid by the hard work of the blacks slaves worked to the make the plantations thrive.Without the strength of their labor, there would be no South as it appears in TKM; without the mud, there would be no snowman.
Snow vs FireSymbolism: The Snowman
The Mad Dog
The madness of Maycombs racial prejudices.Bob Ewell can be seen as a mad dog because he does not think rationally and his prejudices and hatred consume him like a disease and spread through the town like a virus.Mad dogs usually go in a straight line according to Heck Tate. This symbolizes the stubborn attitude of the people of Maycomb who are either too proud or too lazy to change their minds.The Mad Dog
Tim Johnson was probably infected with a contagious disease such as rabies and so hes just as dangerous dead as alive.Heck Tate said about Bob Ewell: there are just some kind of men you have to shoot before you can say howdy to 'em. Atticus is the only one present at the time (Tim Johnson) that can kill the dog and put it out of its misery.
The Mad Dog
Therefore, Atticus can be seen as the only one who can help Maycomb see the error of its ways and try to bring peace to the racial conflict and putting that mad dog down.Atticus is the hero who destroys the evil: he stops the disease of prejudice from spreading further.When the jury returns, Scout knows they will return a guilty verdict before the decision is read: I saw something only a lawyer's child could be expected to see, could be expected to watch for, and it was like watching Atticus walk into the street, raise a rifle to his shoulder and pull the trigger, but watching all the time knowing that the gun was empty. A jury never looks at a defendant it has convicted, and when this jury came in, not one of them looked at Tom Robinson (ch 21). The Mad Dog
The Mad Dog is impervious to reason; is diseased and mindlessly pursues a path from which he cannot deviate; is unable to recognize those humans he would normally be friendly toAnonymity is the driving force behind all mob action; as soon as a single human being is drawn out of the dark, the power lessens.
The Mad Dog = The Mob (ch 15)
The first group to speak to Atticus is ch. 15 do so in the daylight at his home: the children recognize them and they are seen as individuals. Both Atticus and the men attempt to reason with each other.Like the dog, the mob at the jail cell is intent on one purpose; like the dog, Atticus cannot use his normal weapons (his mind and his words). Instead, violence may once again have been the only option (Mr. Underwood who happened to be one of the men at his home).The Mad Dog = The Mob (ch 15)
Scout sees the parallel between the mad dog and mob and she cries the morning after. She just taught herself something for the first time in the novel.Later, Atticus reinforces this when he says, So it took an eight-year-old child to bring 'em to their senses.... That proves something - that a gang of wild animals can be stopped, simply because they're still human. Hmp, maybe we need a police force of children (ch. 16)The Mad Dog = The Mob (ch 16)
Bird references: FINCH, ROBINsonA scout is someone who goes in front of a group of people to see what lies ahead. Scout Finch goes ahead of the others (her peers and even some adults) to realize the perils of racism. A perfect name for an inquisitive, curious child!Jem: gem; jewel, something precious and valuable.Names
GumIndian head penniesTwineSoap dollsSpelling medalPocket watchKnifeKnothole gifts
The knothole is a source of communicationBoo communicates with J&S by leaving gifts in the tree since he cant go outsideThe kids fantasize about himHe is trying to give them small pieces of himselfEach gift gives them a little more insight into Boo as a person.Importance of Knothole
Nathan Cements the Tree:-cements the end of the friendshipCements that Jem will never thank himCements Boos imprisonment
The tree that Nathan describes as dying might symbolize the Radley family tree diseased by Mr. Radleys cruelty towards Boo.He (Mr. Nathan) might also view the family tree as diseased b/c of Arthur his perceived mental illness is the knothole / disease in the tree.
Atticus (reasonable and nonjudgmental) does not see Boo as Diseased, nor does he see the knothole as a symptom of a disease.
The cement covers up the imperfection in the family.
Before the rumors ever started, the Radleys were discriminated against because they kept to themselves they did not go to church, Maycombs principal recreation, but worshipped at home; Mrs. Radley seldom if ever crossed the street for midmorning coffee break with her neighbors and certainly never joined a missionary circle.
Because of the Radleys isolated ways, there were unknown to the townspeople and were often the topic of spiteful gossip.After his father died, Nathan is in charge.Because he was locked away for thirty years, Arthur suffered more than mental damage; he was robbed of his childhood and his future.