16 terms

To Kill a Mockingbird - Symbols

Not all of these will be on the test but it doesn't hurt to know them. ALSO: do not memorize!!!!!! try to reword it. If you have the basic idea, that is what the Override: I was right button is for!

Terms in this set (...)

Harmless and kind; only does good things for society; hurting or killing one is a sin, represents Boo Radley and Tom Robinson
white camellias
a flower that represents racism and the difficulty of "pulling it up by the roots"
knothole in the tree (and its contents)
Boo's communication w/ Jem and Scout, their distant friendship
Tom Robinson
mockingbird; the beginning of Maycomb seeing that racism is wrong and striving for equality
red geraniums
Mayella's desire for a better life; beauty in the midst of decay; stupidity and foolishness; consolation for a wrongful act
Boo Radley
people's misconceptions and rumors are not true once you know them; the children's protector
Atticus Finch
humility and honor; kindness and consideration; talents are innate in people, and there is no need to show off; represents the desire for equality and justice under the law and in society at large
foreshadows Boo protecting Scout and Jem at the end of the novel
Miss Maudie's house burning down
coming together of the town before it is splintered by the trial
"you can shoot at bluejays all you want, but remember, it's a sin to kill a mockingbird"
bluejays represent the racist people in Maycomb; tied to the statement by Atticus--if a white man cheats a black man, the white man is trash
snowman (the morphodite)
Jem and Scout do not have enough snow to make an entire snowman out of snow, so Jem creates a base out of dirt and then covers it in snow. It shows that white and black people are the same, and that together there can be success. Atticus comes home and approves Jem's idea, saying that he never has to worry about him again because Jem will always have an idea.
the fire
The fire melted the snow away from the snowman, leaving only mud. Therefore, the fire represents the racist people of Maycomb, saying that whites and blacks are not the same; represents the conflagration (firestorm) to come with public opinion in the town when the trial begins
The Mad Dog (Tim Johnson)
There is a large similarity between Tim Johnson's name and Tom Robinson's. In addition, during Tom Robinson's trial, Scout is often reminded of when her father shot Tim Johnson. For one, after she disbands the mob and is falling asleep, she connects Atticus folding his newspaper and pushing back his hat to face the mob with Atticus pushing up his glasses and standing in the empty street to shoot Tim Johnson. Both are examples of Atticus having to do things he doesn't want to, and facing mindless threats (hence the reason he called the mob animals later). In addition, during the trial, she says that the stuffy courtroom was much like the deserted street that was waiting for Tim Johnson. This shows how Scout is powerless to change the outcome both times. She even goes so far as to say that watching the jury come in was like watching her father go to shoot Tim Johnson, knowing that the gun was empty. The gun can be perceived as the legal process, the bullets as the jury, and the dog as racism, but it could also be seen as Scout's horror at what is happening but being unable to change it.
roly poly
When Scout goes to smash the roly poly when she is done playing with it, it is an attempt to return to her childish ways. When Jem tells her not to, instead to set it outside, it is showing that he wants to grow up and not hurt anything that doesn't deserve it. He is comparing the roly poly to Tom Robinson and therefore wants to prevent his/its death. Scout, on the other hand, just wants to forget about the whole thing and go back to how she was before.
tree by the Radley house
The tree is Boo's attempt to reach out to the children. It is his contact with society and when Mr. Nathan fills it up with cement, he cuts off Boo from Jem, Scout, and everyone else.
the tree roots
When the book says that the tree roots are spreading out and disrupting the road, it symbolizes Boo reaching out to the community (Jem and Scout)