6Literary SymbolismSymbolism is used in literature to invest the text with a deeper meaning.For exampleBlood is used in “Macbeth to symbolise” guiltThe Conch shell is used in “Lord of the Flies” to symbolise civilisation and order on the island.
7“To Kill a Mockingbird” and Symbolism Symbolism in “To Kill a Mockingbird” is used frequently, it is subtle and invests the text with greater meaning and significance.Activity – Work with your partner, can you remember the uses of symbolism that we have studied so far in “To Kill a Mocking Bird.”
8Examples of Symbolism from “To Kill a Mockingbird” Oak tree at the Radley placeThe CourthouseThe SnowmanRoly PolyGifts in the treeMad dogFire at Miss MaudiesSun being high in the sky.
9Mocking Bird What does it symbolise? Who are the symbolic mockingbirds in the novel?Why are they considered to be mockingbirds?
10Mockingbirds first appear when Jem and Scout are learning how to use their shiny new air rifles. Atticus won’t teach them how to shoot, but he does give them one rule to follow: “Atticus said to Jem one day, "I'd rather you shot at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you'll go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.“”
11“That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it.” “"Your father's right," she said. "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.“”
12After Tom Robinson is shot, Mr. Underwood compares his death to: “the senseless slaughter of songbirds,”
13And we will find out at the end of the book Scout understands that hurting Boo Radley would be like: “shootin’ a mockingbird.”
14“The Courthouse sagged in the square” What does the courthouse and its condition symbolise here?
15The Oak TreeIn Ch4 What does the Oak Tree and its roots at the Radley place represent?Why is the Oak Tree particularly significant in the novel?We will see how what the Oak Tree represents changes at the end of the novel.
16Two live oaks stood at the edge of the Radley Lot; their roots reached out into the side-road and made it bumpy.”The tree roots are becoming more prominent and have begun to disrupt the road. There’s a connection between the roots spreading out and Boo trying to reach out and make contact with the community.Boo Radley is trying to reach out to the community and feel less isolated.The children are making more and more significant contact with Boo Radley and it becomes increasingly dangerous. It disrupts the community as Boo Radley emerges
17Sun at noonIn Ch5 When the children are playing the game “One Man’s Family” (in which they pretended to be the Radleys) we are told that “the sun said twelve noon”What did this symbolise?
18Solo ActivityUsing the notes you have taken write a paragraph in formal critical essay style about Harper Lee’s use of symbolism in “To Kill a Mockingbird”Start with:Lee uses subtle symbolism throughout the novel to invest the text with greater meaning and to highlight the main themes...To be completed and handed in for next Monday - 15th November.