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What are two very important objects in the book To Kill a Mockingbird?Select two...

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hottiesaywhat | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 10, 2011 at 4:36 AM via web

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What are two very important objects in the book To Kill a Mockingbird?

Select two objects that you feel are important to the novel. Discuss how their use has enhanced the story.

 

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 13, 2011 at 6:16 AM (Answer #1)

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My favorite object in To Kill a Mockingbird is Scout's beloved overalls (or coveralls). She wears them during most of the warmer scenes in the novel, and she clings to them as a symbol of her desire to remain a tomboy and resist everyone else's urgings to become more ladylike. She wears them during most of her adventures, including the children's raids on the Radley House, and in the final scene of the story, they are presented to her by a most unlikely source. After her battered ham costume is finally removed following the attack by Bob Ewell,

She brought me something to put on, and had I thought about it then, I would have never let her forget it: in her distraction, Aunty brought me my overalls. "Put these on, darling," she said, handing me the garments she most despised.

In the film version, Scout is best remembered wearing her denim overalls, complete with a typically boyish "wife-beater" sleeveless undershirt.

My other favorite object is Atticus's glasses, which serve as a symbol of one of his few weaknesses.

... left eyes were a tribal curse of the Finches. Whenever he wanted to see something well, he turned his head and looked from his right eye.

He often fiddles with his glasses when he has something important to say or when he wants to make a point. When it comes time for Atticus to shoot the mad dog, they become a nuisance, so

Atticus pushed his glasses to his forehead: they slipped down, and he dropped them in the street. In the silence, I heard them crack. Atticus rubbed his eyes; we saw him blink hard.

(In the film version, Atticus grinds them into the dirt street with his shoe.) When Scout is rude to Alexandra,

Atticus turned his head and pinned me to the wall with his good eye.

During Atticus's summation at the trial of Tom Robinson, the children witnessed a rarity from their father.

     Atticus paused and took out his handkerchief. Then he took off his glasses and wiped them, and we saw another "first": we had never seen him sweat-- 

Following the death of Bob Ewell, Atticus--in a rare lapse of good judgement--believes Jem to be the killer.

"... good Lord, I'm losing my memory..." Atticus pushed up his glasses and pressed his fingers to his eyes.

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