What does this quote mean?   "We were in front of the Radley place . . . High above us in the darkness a solitary mocker poured out his repertoire in blissful unawareness." pg 254

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At the beginning of chapter eight, Jem and Scout begin their walk to the Halloween festival on an extremely dark, warm October night. As they are walking past the Radley home, Scout mentions,

High above us in the darkness a solitary mocker poured out his repertoire in blissful unawareness of whose tree he sat in, plunging from the shrill kee, kee of the sunflower bird to the irascible qua-ack of a bluejay, to the sad lament of Poor Will, Poor Will, Poor Will. (Lee, 258)

Harper Lee utilizes symbolism by referring to the "solitary mocker" and the "bluejay" perching in the tree near the Radley home. The "solitary mocker" symbolically represents innocent, vulnerable beings like Jem and Scout, who are defenseless against Bob Ewell's attack later that night. The proximity of the mockingbird to Boo Radley's home is also significant. Boo Radley is a symbolic mockingbird throughout the novel and comes to Scout's and Jem's aid later that night. The bluejay is also symbolic of malevolent, harmful individuals like Bob Ewell, who is a threat to innocent, vulnerable children like Jem and Scout.

In addition to the symbolic significance of the "solitary mocker" and bluejay, this passage also foreshadows Bob Ewell's attack. The "blissful unawareness" of the mockingbird and the "irascible qua-ack" of the bluejay foreshadow the Finch children's unawareness of Bob Ewell's ambush on their walk home.

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In this quote Harper Lee is using the "mocker" (mockingbird) as a symbol of innocence.  The town has been through the trial and the children especially have been forced to grow up a little about what goes on in the real world.  They have had to face the fact that things are not always fair, and the town they live in has unfairness and evil dwelling there.  Scout, walking home hears the solitary mockingbird pouring out it's different songs in a "blissful unawareness."  Her eyes have been opened to what is going on in her town and how some people hate others simply because of the color of their skin, but the mockingbird is still innocent.  Tom Robinson is also innocent, but not in the eyes of the all male white jury.

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