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How Does Miss Maudie Use Symbols In To Kill A Mockingbird

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The highly praised novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, is a story about racism and stereotypes in the deep south told from the perspective of a little girl named Scout. Harper Lee, the author of the novel, uses symbolism to show a character's personality or to relate to an event in the story. Some symbols used in the story include a roly-poly, a rabid dog, and a mockingbird. These things, if looked into deeply, give the novel depth and meaning. Harper Lee uses a roly-poly as a symbol in her novel. The roly-poly is understood to symbolize letting your guard down ,as we see in the story: “ I lay on my stomach, reached down and poked him. He rolled up. Then, feeling safe ,I suppose, slowly unrolled” (Lee 272). Another piece of evidence that explains this symbol is near the same area of the story: “When you touch them, they roll themselves into a tight gray ball” (Lee 272), which means that ,at first, it is …show more content…
Mockingbirds, in the story at least, are used as a symbol of innocence. We see evidence of this as Miss Maudie states, “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy...That’s why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird” (Lee 103). She is saying that mockingbirds don’t cause any trouble or hurt anyone, so it’s just plain wrong to hurt that kind of creature. Another piece of evidence is when Scout says, “Well, it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird, wouldn’t it?” (Lee 317). She says this in response to Heck Tate lying because he didn’t want to put Mr. Radley, who is shy and introverted, into the limelight. In conclusion, symbolism plays a big part in To Kill a Mockingbird. The symbols that stand out were the roly-poly, the rabid dog, and the mockingbird. They each symbolize different things: letting your guard down, racism, and innocence. Lee uses symbolism to give the story layers, as if you could peel back each one and find something more interesting than the previous

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