To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
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What symbol(s) could be used to represent Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, and how can you explain this?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The newspaper could symbolically represent various aspects of Atticus Finch's personality throughout the novel. Atticus reads the newspaper regularly, and it could be considered his favorite thing to do. Atticus constantly reading the newspaper represents his intellectual personality and reveals his age. Atticus is described as a "deep reader" and is much older than the parents of Scout's friends, which is why he prefers reading rather than participating in physical activities. His intellectual abilities also give him an advantage in court, which is revealed by his valiant defense of Tom Robinson.

The newspaper also reflects Atticus's love for reading, which is something he passes onto his children. Scout mentions that Atticus always reads Jem the sports page before bed and recalls the numerous nights she read the newspaper on her father's lap. The newspaper also symbolically represents Atticus's relevance in the community. His decision to defend Tom Robinson is well-known throughout...

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bullgatortail eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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