to kill a mockingbird

Topics: Black people, To Kill a Mockingbird, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 2 (792 words) Published: October 23, 2013
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a novel narrated by Scout Finch; a young innocent child growing up in the fictitious town of Maycomb in the 1930’s. To Kill a Mockingbird widely illustrates the theme of prejudice against Negroes in American society in the 1900’s. Lee uses various events such as the building of the snowman and Miss Maudie’s house fire, as well as the symbolism of mockingbirds to demonstrate the divide in the town between the coloured and white. The theme of prejudice is explored widely in the mudman turn snowman that Jem and Scout construct when it snows for the first time in Maycomb (chapter 8). Jem at first creates a mudman but after Scout comments, ‘Jem, I ain’t ever heard of a nigger snowman,’ (pg.72) he replies, ‘He won’t be black long,’ and covers it with white snow, showing that Negroes do not hold a place in white society. Just like the Negroes are the most important part of holding together Maycomb, the mud – which acts as a foundation – is the most important part of holding the snowman together; without the Negroes, Maycomb would be unable to function. When Jem covers the mud with snow, it is representative of the Negroes who are ‘hidden’ on the outskirts of the town. As the white snow is surrounding the black dirt, it highlights the control white people have over the black people. In the making of the snowman, the dark mud and the white snow worked well together, just as the black and white must work together in society; which does not occur in Maycomb. The snowman also foreshadows the death of Tom Robinson; the snowman – symbolising Tom’s life – is killed during the fire (chapter 8) . The mudman turn snowman in To Kill a Mockingbird symbolises that a black ‘mudman’ will not be accpeted unless he is a white ‘snowman’. Miss Maudie’s house fire (chapter 8) is symbolic of the townspeople’s reactions during Tom Robinson’s trial and foreshadows the tension that is going to occur. The fire is unseasonal, occurring in ‘… the two weeks of...
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