Symbolism is the use of symbols to express ideas and attributes by giving them symbolic meanings other than their literal meanings. Symbols in literature can be objects, people, ideas, or even colours that are used to convey greater ideas. Symbolism is frequently used by authors to communicate deeper concepts or topics without having to explicitly state them.
Symbols are frequently used to indicate something significant. Four-leaf clovers, which are thought to represent hope, faith, love, and luck, are one of the many universal symbols used today. The peace symbol is another universal symbol that represents peace, love, harmony, and overall positive vibes. Symbols such as the four-leaf clover and the peace symbol abound, and we frequently see a variety of symbols employed in novels. The mockingbird, Tim Johnson (the mad dog), and the tree near the Radley House are all major symbols in Harper Lee's novel To Kill A Mockingbird.
The mockingbird's significance is possibly the most important symbol to discuss in Harper Lee's novel To Kill A Mockingbird. The title is a sign for what will happen in the story, rather than just a title. Shoot all the bluejays you like if you can hit'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird, says Atticus in Chapter 10. (Lee p. 119). After they obtain their air rifles, Atticus says this to Jem and Scout, and it's the only time he states it's a sin to do something, implying that he doesn't want his children to do it. Mockingbirds, Miss Maudie adds in Chapter 10, "do nothing but generate song for us to enjoy." They don't eat people's gardens, don't build nests in corncribs, and don't do anything except sing for us. That is why killing a mockingbird is considered a sin (p. 119).
The mockingbird represents innocence in this quotation because mockingbirds just sing to us and do not aim to harm us; instead, they try to do good. Because the mockingbird represents innocence, the term suggests that innocence is being slain or destroyed. Some characters, such as Boo Radley, can be considered mockingbirds throughout the story.
Boo Radley is like a mockingbird in that he does not hurt anyone; instead, he leaves gifts for Scout and Jem, wraps Scout in a blanket during the fire, and subsequently saves the children from Bob Ewell and the other assailants. Boo has always been kind and concerned about the youngsters, yet he is frequently misinterpreted by the people. This means he stands for innocent people who have been harmed or ruined by wickedness.
Tim Johnson was Mr. Harry Johnson's property, and he was Maycomb's pet. Tim was infected with rabies in February, which was unusual because dogs generally get infected with rabies around August. Calpurnia says in chapter 10: "I know it's February, Miss Eula May, but I recognise a crazed dog when I see one" (p. 124). Even Calpurnia thought it was uncommon to see a mad dog in February, as evidenced by this comment, but she was certain it was a mad dog. Mr. Heck Tate stated he couldn't shoot that well, so Atticus was told to shoot the mad dog. Atticus did not want to shoot the dog, but he had no choice; the kids discovered he was One-Shot Finch. Because Atticus had to shoot Tim in order to seek justice, he is battling prejudice. It all goes back to Tom Robinson; Tim and Tom share a name for a reason, and Atticus was picked to defend Tom, which he dutifully did. Tim Johnson is the mob, injustice, and anything else Atticus has to contend with.
Scout had started her first days of school, and she had to pass by the Radley House on her way to school. She noticed a knot-hole in the tree near the Radley house one day and discovered two bits of gum inside it. ...and extracted two pieces of chewing gum minus their outer wrapper, as stated in Chapter 4 (p. 44). Scout had found something in the tree for the first time, and she still collected both pieces without knowing who they belonged to.
She began to find small gifts in the knot-hole from that day forward, but Mr. Radley eventually blocked it in with cement. Mr. Radley stated in Chapter 7 that "Tree is dying." When they're sick, you put cement in their ears. Jem, you should be aware of this (p. 83). Mr. Radley claimed that the tree was dying when he filled the knot-hole with cement, but this was not the case. Mr. Radley simply did not want Boo to interact with the kids. Boo's sole way of communicating with the children was through the knot-hole in the tree; he was trying to be polite and generous so that the youngsters wouldn't be terrified of him. Jem and Scout's friendship with Boo is symbolised by the knot-hole in the tree.
It is critical to add symbolism in literature. The mockingbird, the insane dog, and the tree near Radley House are all significant symbols in the story. Because the mockingbird represents innocence, the title implies that innocence is being murdered or destroyed. Mockingbirds appear frequently throughout the narrative, which is why this symbol is so important.
Tim Johnson stands for anything Atticus has to contend with. Tom Robinson is also a friend of Tim Johnson's. Jem and Scout's connection with Boo is symbolised by a tree near the Radley House. Overall, it is critical to employ and interpret symbolism since it allows you to grasp deeper ideas or themes in the literature.
Erisman, Fred. "The Romantic Regionalism of Harper Lee." Alabama Review April 26, 1973: 122-36.
Johnson, Claudia. "The Secret Courts of Men's Hearts:Code and Law in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird." Studies in American Fiction (1991):129-139.
Jones, Carolyn. "Atticus Finch and the Mad Dog." The Southern Quarterly Summer 1996: 56-63.
Author: Noah Michael
Designation : Professor @ Durham University
Subject : English Literature
Expertise : Essay Writing Analysis