Essay, Research Paper: Emily Dickinson And Harper Lee

Literature: To Kill a Mockingbird

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In a poem by Emily Dickinson she implies that there is nothing like reading a
book to take your imagination to great places. She states, “There is no
frigate like a book to take us lands away.” Such an idea that excites the
imagination to take us places is expressed in Harper Lee’s To Kill a
Mockingbird. In To Kill a Mockingbird there is a great use of symbolism to
ignite the human imagination. The title of the book is only mentioned in the
story when the father of the protagonist, Atticus Finch, tells his children that
if they have to kill birds, they can kill any bird, but “tis a sin to kill a
mockingbird.” Although this may seem peculiar, the use of symbolism is evident
in the fact that the main protagonists of the story all have a last name that is
the name of a type of bird. Such as the wrongly accused and later killed Tom
Robinson. Also the dedicated lawyers family name is Finch. Another way this
story uses our imagination greatly is in the characterization of Boo Radley.
Throughout the majority of the story you just hear of him through gossip stories
of the neighbors or through the children’s imaginative games. Boo was always
the amusement to the children due to the fact they had never seen him and always
heard of the threat he was and were kept away from his house. This sparks the
imagination to think and try and create an image of Boo Radley through the eyes
of these young children. There is great irony in the story as well. As mentioned
above, Boo Radley was the main focal point for the children’s games, due the
mystery of whom he was. They always thought he was their major threat and if he
were to catch them, he would kill them. The view of the reader dramatically
changes in the end when this same man ends up saving the children’s lives from
the drunken dirt bag of the town, Bob Ewell. In conclusion, one can see that the
use of literary devices can absolutely take your imagination away. This is seen
from the symbolism of names, to the characterization of mysterious characters or
the dramatic irony of the change of view of the reader. So, the imagination can
travel to places you never thought could, just by reading words from a paper.
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