The Mexico Ledger - Mexico, MO
by Antonio Prokup
To Kill A Mockingbird Short Answer Thought/Journal Topics
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By Antonio Prokup
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May 5, 2013 11:32 a.m.

Lee uses Mayella’s flowers as a symbol to give the reader an insight to Mayella. Other than being poor and one of several children, Lee does not give a written description of Mayella Ewell. However, the geraniums tell us, if we care to listen. First, they are in slop jars because she cannot afford fancy pots. Secondly, they are well cared for to me representing many things. The flowers are the one thing she can control. The flowers are beautiful helping Mayella feel less poor and uneducated each time she looks at them. And most importantly the well-cared for flowers show the tenderness deep within Mayella that no one has ever bothered to see, except for maybe Tom.
The unknown is always mysterious and sometimes fearful. Because Boo Radley had never been seen by Scout, she uses what information she can gather. From stories handed down and because it was fun entertainment, she considered Boo to be somewhat of a monster. Even when she thought the gifts in the tree were from Boo, she wouldn’t except that he was kind, because she had no information to back it up. Now because he was standing in front of her and she had witnessed him helping her beloved brother, all fear was removed. How sad that most adults act exactly as Scout did, today. Without faith, trust and acceptance, all people are Boo Radleys. In the words of the Little Prince, Boo and Scout tamed each other.
I don’t believe that the mad dog was to represent anyone. I guess you could compare him to Bob Ewell, meaning a community is better off without a diseased being in their midst. But, I believed the mad dog was simply to show Atticus in a different light. The children learned their father had been one different young man than he was now. They also learned what attributes Atticus wanted his children to admire and model. Being the fairest man in Maycomb was more important than the best shot.
Young Scout believes only gifts can be exchanged between people, but Scout and Jem gave more than gifts to Boo. Because of circumstance Boo was forced to remain hidden but his windows were his escape. Without ever communicating, he loved Jem and Scout by simply watching them grow up. I’m sure he treasured their daily activities like people treasure gifts. Also, Scout gave numerous things to Boo during their one and only encounter. She gave her time, attention, patience, understanding, respect and her hand in love as they walked silently to his porch that was no longer mysterious or fearful. She not only walked in Boo’s shoes, she walked with him while in her own.

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