A Sample of an Essay on To Kill a Mockingbird About Symbolism

Writing an essay on a book demands analytical, descriptive, and other skills from a student. The given story by Harper Lee is one of the best books to try your essay writing on, as there’s a lot to analyze and describe. It’s important that To Kill a Mockingbird essay questions are chosen according to your opinions and interests concerning the book. There are many To Kill a Mockingbird Essay prompts and examples online to help you. You also have to keep the paper structured and give a strong thesis statement at the beginning.

To Kill a Mockingbird Essay Sample: Symbolism in a Story

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was released in 1960. It’s an autobiographical story that describes the childhood of the writer and her memories of the event that occurred when she was about 10 years old. It has become a bestseller, and not only for the great story, but for the messages concerning education, racism, and other problems of her time. The novel is also filled with symbolism, and the more you read, the more you notice it.

There are three outstanding examples to show the diversity of messages and signs Harper Lee makes in the book: mockingbirds, the snowman, and Camellias.

The most noticeable and understandable symbol is a mockingbird. The first time it is mentioned is when Atticus Finch tells to Jem and Scout it’s a sin to shoot these songbirds. As said in the novel, they do no harm to people, the don’t steal from their gardens, nor do they nest in unwanted places. They just sing songs for the creatures around to enjoy, and yet, adults and children often kill them.

Later on, when Tom Robinson is shot, Mr. Underwood makes parallels between killing him and slaughtering songbirds. The black man isn’t the rapist they were looking for, yet he gets killed, just as a mockingbird that does nothing bad and is still haunted.

The less noticeable symbol is the snowman Jem and Scout build at the beginning of the novel. It is made of dirt and snow, symbolizing two races – white and black people. The meaning is that they have to unite and live at peace, even though the reality is quite the opposite. One more important thing to notice is how the children build the snowman. There is more mud and dirt on the inside, and the cover-up is from white snow. This is considered a vivid symbol of white people domination in 1930s and beyond.

The third example of symbolism to be highlighted may be even more difficult to notice – Mrs. Dubose’s Camellias. The flowers are a symbol of friendship, courage, and forgiveness in the novel. When the woman dies, Jem receives a box with a Camellia flower in it and a letter from Mrs. Dubose saying he helped her a lot. She has forgiven him for cutting those flowers off, and shows her respect to the young man who learned self-control and extended her pauses between morphine dozes.

Speaking of the flowers as the symbol of courage, the woman was a morphine addict, and she did her best to get rid of the addiction. She was constantly building her courage just as she was taking care of the flowers that grew along with her strong will.

Symbols of the book represent prejudice, fears, friendship, innocence. The three highlighted are the perfect examples of the more noticeable ones and the less outstanding yet not less meaningful ones. The novel carries much more than just a story of Maycomb in the 1930s, it has messages in it about racism, fear of the unknown, parents and children relationships, and much more. To Kill a Mockingbird is truly a book of hidden hints, and you need to read it more than one to spot all of them.