GCSE English Revision - To Kill A Mockingbird; Symbols

6th May 2014

Literary Symbols


- Certain objects are used as part of the story to represent something far greater and more abstract than the object itself.

- Mockingbirds are described as harmless birds that only serve to sing their hearts out for the enjoyment of others.

- They represent the idea of innocence.

- To kill a mockingbird is to destroy innocence.

- Tom and Boo can be described as the novel’s mockingbirds.

- They are innocents at the mercy of society.

- Scout says that locking up Boo Radley would be akin to shooting a mockingbird.

- Mr Raymond compares Tom’s death to the “senseless shooting of songbirds”.

Boo Radley

- Children’s changing attitude towards Boo represents their emergence from innocence to towards a far more mature moral perspective.

- At the beginning, Boo is the subject of much rumour and superstition.

- The subsequent interactions between Boo and the children ( then mending of Jem’s trousers and the leaving of presents in the tree), make Boo seem more real and human to them.

- By the novel’s end, Boo becomes fully human to Scout, mirroring the fact she has become a far more mature and understanding person.

- Boo is one of the novels crucial mockingbird figures.

- He was a bright child, damaged by a cruel and over-strict father.

- He is a symbol of the goodness that exists within people.

To fast track your revision, listen to our GCSE English To Kill A Mockingbird revision song; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkTIO7nElfU


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