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Is the mud snowman a symbol in "To Kill a Mockingbird"?Why did Jem and Scout...

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ferrylee | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted December 11, 2008 at 9:52 AM via web

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Is the mud snowman a symbol in "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

Why did Jem and Scout decide to make a mudman, and not a snowman? Why did the model of the snowman represent Mr. Avery?

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tpisano | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted December 11, 2008 at 10:29 AM (Answer #1)

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Jem and Scout build a "mudman" because there isn't enough snow on the ground to construct a snowman. When Scout realizes what he is doing she says:

“‘Jem, I ain’t ever heard of a nigger snowman.’”

Jem finishes building the "mudman" and then covers it with snow. 

The snowman (which later turns out to be a snow woman) is symbolic. It foreshadows events to come. The snowman is partly built with black Alabama soil. The colors—black, black and white, white, black again—foretell the racial unrest to occur later in the book.

At first the "snowman" resembles Mr. Avery.  This is appropriate because he is a very crude character.  He behaves worse than any black character in the story. He behaves the way that blacks are "supposed" to behave and yet he is white.  This is similar to the snowman who is "black" on the inside and white on the outside.

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meneses | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted February 18, 2009 at 7:06 AM (Answer #2)

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Well, I belief that there is some meaning to the snowman. The snowman is a symbol which represent that we are all equal. The snowman is black inside, but white outside, meaning that deep down all humans are the same. This is probably used by the author to express his personal opinion about racism. He beliefs we are all equal.

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fjieids | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 19, 2009 at 8:52 AM (Answer #3)

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The snowman represents how things are not always as the seem to be, because the snowman is made of mud and covered with snow. Even though the snowman looks like a real one, its not. It also represent the white controle of the blacks becuase the white (snow) is over the black (mud). Lastly, it shows appearence vs reality

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joelblack14 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 8, 2012 at 10:06 PM (Answer #4)

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[insert tge best answer here] (:0)

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manddi16 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 25, 2010 at 7:40 AM (Answer #5)

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My Teacher had said this was a Symbol of how the foundations of white society was based on black labour

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nycdesignergirl | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 24, 2011 at 6:27 AM (Answer #6)

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this show the innocence of the children how we are all equal. haha hope thaaaat helped

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litchick2011 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted December 11, 2008 at 10:17 AM (Answer #7)

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Jem and Scout made the "snow" man out of materials that were readily available, gathering as much snow as they could from Miss Maudie's yard.  We do not tend to get too much snow in the South, and when we do, it is a mixture of snow and mud (really, more mud than snow), so this is why their snowman ends up being made more of mud.  I am not sure that Harper Lee was necessarily symbolizing anything here, other than the fact that the South is not the most snow - friendly part of the U.S. They make the snowman that looks like Mr. Avery because he is a rather unpleasant old man who lives down the street.  As children tend to do, they were poking fun at someone that they did not like very much.  In fact, the resemblence to Mr. Avery is so strong, that their father Atticus tells them to disguise it. 

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