What are the most important symbols in Chapters 23, 24, 25, and 26 of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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

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CHAPTER 23. The jury serves as an most important symbol in the chapter. The jury is the voice of the community, the judges of innocence and guilt; but it also serves as a symbol of corruption, racism, and segregation.

CHAPTER 24. Sin is a symbol used to show both the positive and negative nature of the missionary circle. The women meet under the guise of helping the African Mruna tribe who live in "sin and squalor." But the women get sidetracked when they criticize the Negroes in Maycomb and those who defend them (Atticus).

CHAPTER 25.  Animals, in this case the roly-poly and the songbird, serve as symbols of innocence in the chapter. Jem tells Scout not to squash the roly-poly (a pill bug) because it is weak and harmless. B. B. Underwood's editorial compares Tom Robinson's death to the "senseless slaughter of songbirds."

CHAPTER 26. The Radley oak tree reappears in this chapter. Though Nathan Radley had told Jem that the tree was diseased and needed to be cemented, the tree continues to grow, "swelling" the cement around it. The tree symbolizes Boo, whose family has tried to change and restrain him, but inside the house, Boo continues to live and grow older, much like the tree. Boo will later show that these restrictions cannot completely restrain his movements.

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