What aspects of power are related to the symbolism of the mockingbird?

The aspects of power related to the symbolism of the mockingbird center on identity and the strength of accepting multiple selves and voices.

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The aspects of power related to the symbolism of the mockingbird revolve around identity. The mockingbird gives one the ability to shift voices and try out different lives; it confers agility and adaptability. When the mockingbird was “riding” Elena, she had the potential to turn into a range of people....

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The aspects of power related to the symbolism of the mockingbird revolve around identity. The mockingbird gives one the ability to shift voices and try out different lives; it confers agility and adaptability. When the mockingbird was “riding” Elena, she had the potential to turn into a range of people. She could be her husband, a friend, a neighbor, Toni (Antoinette), or Candy. The power to take on a plurality of voices makes Toni uncomfortable. “I am no kind of mockingbird,” she insists to her dad. According to Toni, she has one exclusive song to sing, and that’s her song—“Antoinette’s song.”

However, Toni doesn’t appear to have a choice in the matter. “There are some gifts that cannot be refused,” her dad tells her. As it turns out, the powers of the mockingbird are positive. They help her deal with her departed mom, her professional life, and her personal life. What she initially deemed a burden turns into a blessing.

Through the power of the mockingbird, Toni comes to understand the complexity of identity. There is no “one true person”; there are a “hundred different selves.” A person can be a daughter, a mother, and a “lazy housekeeper” all at once, or at different times, without being false.

By the end of the novel, Toni makes peace with the many voices that contribute to who she is. Her final characterization as a confident, multifaceted woman links to the symbolism of the mockingbird and its power.

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