Blues Ain't No Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Toni Cade Bambara

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In "Blues Ain't No Mockingbird" what are the three symbols in the story and what do they stand for?

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Three significant symbols in “Blues Ain’t No Mockingbird” are Granddaddy Cain, Camera, and the hammer.

Granddaddy Cain: He symbolizes dignity, nobility, and leadership. While his co-workers were referred to as just waiters, he was held in esteem as “The Waiter.” As a leader, Granddaddy uses his hands both as a tool of comfort and protection. The narrator reminisces, “Then Granddaddy holds his hand out—this huge hand I used to sit in when I was a baby and he’d carry me through the house to my mother like I was a gift on a tray. Like he used to on the trains... And said he had engines in his feet and motors in his hands and couldn’t no train throw him off and couldn’t nobody turn him round. They were big enough for motors, his hands were. He held that one hand out all still and it gettin to be not at all a hand but a person in itself.”

Camera: Camera symbolizes invasion of privacy, exposure, and potential danger. All of Camera’s actions and words are exploitative,...

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