To Kill A Mockingbird - Analytical Essay on Symbolism of the mockingbird.

Essay by spherikusHigh School, 10th gradeA-, April 2004

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Symbolism is a commonly used technique, seen often in short stories, novels and movies. A symbol is often used by an author to get a point or message across without having to openly state it. A symbol can take many forms, be it an animal, a phrase or a colour. The symbol of a mockingbird is used by author Harper Lee many times throughout the novel "To Kill A Mockingbird".

The mockingbird symbolizes innocence. It is a creature that does no harm to anybody and only provides joy to others by singing its song. In the presence of evil, it is silent. The mockingbird is first mentioned by Atticus when he gives his children air rifles at Christmas. His advice to them is "you can shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember, it is a sin to kill a mockingbird". (page 99).

Throughout the novel, we are introduced to three characters who can be characterised as 'mockingbirds'. These are the characters of Boo Radley, Tom Robinson and Dolphus Raymond.

The first mentioned mockingbird of the story, the character of Boo Radley is a harmless man, who simply wants to be left alone. The children make a game out of trying to bring him out of his house, with little success. Around town he is regarded as being strange, mysterious and dangerous. Many rumours about him peeping in people's windows at night, and of him eating cats circulate around the town. As Jem and Scout are walking to the pageant they see a mockingbird sitting in the tree outside the Radley place. "High above us in the darkness a solitary mocker poured out his repertoire in blissful unawareness of who's tree he sat in". (page 281). The mockingbird's presence in the tree...