How The Ending Of The Novel Manages

To End Or Resolve The Novel’s Key Themes Essay, Research Paper

?To Kill A Mockingbird? by Harper Lee is a classic novel that deals with two ?mockingbirds? in Boo Radley and Tom Robinson. ?They don?t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That?s why it?s a sin to kill a mockingbird,? says Atticus. Despite the stigma involved with such an action, Maycomb physically and socially kill two Mockingbirds. This theme and many more are resolved in the book?s ending.

One of the first key themes dealt with in the ending of novel is that of the first mockingbird, Boo Radley. Throughout the novel Scout, Jem and Dill are preoccupied with one of Maycomb?s ?monsters?, Boo Radley. Finally, Scout has the chance to meet him, after ?He gave?. [Scout and Jem] [Their] lives. Scout, through standing on the Radley porch and ?Standing in [Boo?s] shoes and walking around in them?, finally understands Boo Radley. Furthermore, when Scout says, ?he was real nice?, Atticus replies back ?most people are, Scout, when you finally see them?, thus resolving the readers and Scout?s doubts about Boo Radley. With the description of his hair as “feathery,” Boo is immediately identified with the “mockingbird” idea, especially with his slight appearance and fluttery hand movements. He has finally become a real person, completing the progression from monster to human; meanwhile, Mr. Ewell’s evilness has turned him into a human monster, whose bristling facial stubble felt by Scout suggests an animal-like appearance.

Another key theme that is dealt with in depth, is that of the second mockingbird, Tom Robinson, the Negro who is killed trying to escape from jail after he is wrongfully accused and convicted for rape while helping a young woman. At the end of the book, the two mockingbirds collide, as Boo kills Bob Ewell, the young girl?s ?white trash? father, in a scuffle between Bob and the Finch children. As Heck Tate says ? There?s a black boy dead for no reason, and the man responsible for it?s dead. Let the dead bury the dead this time??.

During the course of this book, Harper Lee tries to show us people?s reactions when they have to choose between their prejudices and what is right. Tom Robinson is the recipient of unfair racial prejudice, as he finds out how a man?s false beliefs can override his better judgement. Boo Radley is also the victim of social prejudice. Just because he stays inside, people automatically hide their better judgement in the belief that Boo is actually a monster. When Boo kills Bob Ewell at the end, it rehashes the idea that the innocent should not suffer in the hands of the powerful.

Throughout the novel, the theme of ?growing up? is key, but is more associated with Jem. However, at the end of the novel, Scout finally acts the part of the hospitable Southern lady in assisting Boo around the house and seeing him home; she interacts with him in a serious and grown-up fashion. Though she runs to tell Jem when she first discovers Boo is in their house, she reacts against this childish reflex and gives Boo his privacy very tactfully. ?I felt very old,? she says. She has learned how to be a guide for others, as shown by her symbolic act of leading Boo to safety. She can visualize things from his perspective now, or ?[stand] in his shoes and walk around in them? as Atticus once advised her to do.

Overall, I feel that the ending managed to sum up and resolve most of the book?s key themes, and although rather abrupt, is very effective.


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