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To Kill A Mockingbird Symbolism

Essay by 24  •  July 2, 2011  •  827 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,485 Views

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In order to value a movie such as To Kill A Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee; one must recognize the significance of certain symbolic items that are placed in the movie, and how they turn this story into a work of art. The opening credits play an important role in the movie, and help to illustrate certain symbols within the novel. The various objects that are included in the title sequence are a drawing of a bird, a harmonica, a pocket watch, a pearl necklace, marbles, and a whistle. The title, To Kill A Mockingbird has little importance to the occurrence of events within the novel, but it does hold value in terms of symbolism. Two characters in the novel represent the mockingbird and each illustrates the idea of how innocence is destroyed by evil. The objects that take on symbolic value in To Kill A Mockingbird represent something much larger than their physical appearance. Although the title sequence holds great symbolic value, the central symbol is the harmless mockingbird. Both Tom Robinson and Boo Radley are innocent members of the community and invoke no harm on society, and they are destroyed by the illogical stereotypes within the town of Maycomb. However, the first occurrence of symbolism lies within the title sequence.

The following objects represent the symbolism within the title sequence at the beginning of the movie: a drawing of a bird, a harmonica, a pocket watch, a pearl necklace, marbles, and a whistle and this title sequence is from a child’s perspective. The title sequence helps to introduce the story’s symbolism and themes for the audience by focusing on the child’s perspective on life. It does so by having the camera move in, like a child's vision, to close-ups of the various objects, moving from left to right along the row of treasures arranged on the table. There is also a mysterious music and humming of a child to create a mood for the audience. The movie presents these objects from unfamiliar angles, allowing the viewer to rediscover these simple items. Probably the most significant event that happens in the title sequence is right at the end when the mockingbird drawing is destroyed because that is the central idea in the novel. The title sequence helps the audience view the community through the innocent eyes of a child rather than that of a reflective, knowing adult. The destroyed drawing of the mockingbird signifies how a community gone berserk destroys innocence. Although the title sequence sets up the symbolism of the story very well, there is another aspect of the movie that helps to bring the story to life and they are Tom Robinson and Boo Radley; the symbolic mockingbirds.

The characters of Boo Radley and Tom Robinson are depicted as the symbolic mockingbirds throughout the story, but when they are placed into the movie; their unique characteristics are exaggerated and easier to point out

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