To Kill a Mockingbird: Conflict, Themes and Symbolism

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 710 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Aug 31, 2023

Words: 710|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Aug 31, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Meaning of To Kill a Mockingbird
  2. Segregation and Conflict in To Kill a Mockingbird
  3. Symbolism in To Kill a Mockingbird
  4. Personal Opinion on To Kill a Mockingbird
  5. Works Cited

Meaning of To Kill a Mockingbird

The title of the novel To Kill A Mockingbird means to punish something that does not deserve to be punished, reflecting the central theme of injustice. For example, when Miss Maudie 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.” (Lee 103). Miss Maudie’s quote highlights the symbolic importance of the mockingbird as an innocent and harmless creature. This symbolism is intricately woven into the narrative, reflecting the broader To Kill a Mockingbird conflict between societal prejudice and the quest for justice.

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Segregation and Conflict in To Kill a Mockingbird

Segregation and Jim Crow Laws created the conflict of the novel by putting Atticus, his family, and Tom Robinson in danger because Atticus was defending an black man. Such as when Atticus was confronted by the Cunninghams, “”Son I said go home.” Jem Shook his head. “I’ll send him home.” A burly man said, and grabbed him roughly by the collar. He yanked Jem nearly off his feet. “Don’t touch him!” I kicked the man swiftly. Barefooted, I was surprised to see him fall back in real pain.” (Lee 173). This quote from the interaction of Atticus, Jem, Scout, and the cunninghams represents the conflict by showing Jem and Scout getting in a physical altercation with grown men to help Atticus get away.

Symbolism in To Kill a Mockingbird

Boo Radley can be represented as an angel because he shows qualities of a guardian and safety such as when Boo gave Scout a blanket, “”Thank who?” I asked. “Boo Radley. You were so busy looking at the fire you didn’t know it when he put the blanket around you?” (Lee 82). This quote from a conversation between Atticus and Scout shows that Boo radley was not the monster he was made out to be but rather a person looking out for others for the greater good of everyone.

A scene with imagery is the scene of Tim Johnson the dog when he had gone mad. “She followed us beyond the Radley Place and looked where Jem pointed. Tim Johnson was not much more than a speck in the distance, but he was closer to us. He walked erratically, as if his right legs were shorter than his left legs. He reminded me of a car stuck in a sand-bed.” (Lee 106). This scene showed very vividly describes the dog’s behavior with words such as “speck”, “walked erratically”, “reminded me of a car stuck in a sand-bed”.

Symbolism can be found when Jem and Scout find treasures in the Radley’s oak tree. “Two live oaks stood at the edge of the Radley lot; their roots reached out into the side-road and made it bumpy. Something about one of the trees attracted my attention. Some tinfoil was sticking out of an knot-hole just above my eye level, winking at me in the afternoon sun. I stood on tiptoe, hastily looked around once more, reached into the hole, and withdrew two pieces of chewing gum minus their outer wrappers.” (Lee 37). This tree symbolizes that one of the Radley’s were trying to connect with the outside world.

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Personal Opinion on To Kill a Mockingbird

I personally really like this book, because the plot was structured really well and there was a lot of underlying things that didn’t seem to make a big deal in the book that in the end majorly affected the conclusion. The characterization in the book was done flawlessly; I felt a personal connection to almost every character in the book because of the job the author did describing their physical appearance and their personalities. The Novel’s association with the time period of the Great Depression and segregation laws really set the theme of the book to be equal to all and to not assume a person’s personality without having a first hand experience with that person. Such as, when Tom Robinson was killed and Bob Ewell was after Jem and Scout, but Boo Radley who was thought to be an antagonist throughout the story saved them by stabbing Bob.

Works Cited

  1. Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. HarperCollins, 1960.
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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

To Kill a Mockingbird: Conflict, Themes and Symbolism. (2023, August 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from
“To Kill a Mockingbird: Conflict, Themes and Symbolism.” GradesFixer, 31 Aug. 2023,
To Kill a Mockingbird: Conflict, Themes and Symbolism. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 Feb. 2024].
To Kill a Mockingbird: Conflict, Themes and Symbolism [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Aug 31 [cited 2024 Feb 26]. Available from:
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