A symbol is something that means both what it is and more than what it is; symbols function
both literally and figuratively at the same time.
1. The mad dog becomes a threat to the children and others on the Finches' street when it nears
their home. So, Atticus shoots it. However, as a symbol, the dog represents more than what it
is. It represents a true physical threat that can be dealt with in only one quick way. By contrast,
the mob scene of a later chapter in which men converge upon the jailhouse, demanding that Tom
Robinson be released to them, so that they may lynch him is not a situation that calls for this one,
direct "solution." Tom is a human being with certain rights, one of which is the right to a fair
trial, a right in which Atticus strongly believes. In shooting the dog, Atticus compromises no
principles. However, were he to release Tom to the mob, he would greatly compromise his
2. The snowman that the children build for Miss Maudie is built, as are many a snowman, for
the pleasure of its construction and for the pleasure that it provides those who look upon it.
However, the significance of this act is that the Jem and Scout make this delight in snow for the
same reasons that Miss Maudie bakes for them: They wish to manifest their affections for her in
a material way. When Miss Maudie's house burns, for instance, Scout is quick to reassure her
that they will rebuild the snowman.
In addition to being a work of their love, the snowman, when first constructed, had to be made of
both dirt and snow since there was not enough snow. The dark soil and the white snow work
together, just as black and white must work together in society in order to have successful co-
3. The tree with a knot hole is like a mailbox for Boo Radley; it is his means of communication
with the children through the boundaries of his cofinement. In it he leaves little gifts for Jem,
Scout, and Dill. When Mr. Radley blocks this hole, he severs communication for Boo with the
outside world, a very cruel act on his part, for it again alienates Boo. Mr. Radley's act is another
display of his miscommunication with the world. Jem and Scout made the "snow" man out of
materials that were readily available, gathering as much snow as they could from Miss Maudie's
yard. We do not tend to get too much snow in the South, and when we do, it is a mixture of
snow and mud (really, more mud than snow), so this is why their snowman ends up being made
more of mud. I am not sure that Harper Lee was necessarily symbolizing anything here, other
than the fact that the South is not the most snow - friendly part of the U.S. They make the
snowman that looks like Mr. Avery because he is a rather unpleasant old man who lives down
the street. As children tend to do, they were poking fun at someone that they did not like very
much. In fact, the resemblence to Mr. Avery is so strong, that their father Atticus tells them to
Is the mud snowman a symbol?
Jem and Scout build a "mudman" because there isn't enough snow on the ground to construct
a snowman. When Scout realizes what he is doing she says:
“‘Jem, I ain’t ever heard of a nigger snowman.’”
Jem finishes building the "mudman" and then covers it with snow.
The snowman (which later turns out to be a snow woman) is symbolic. It foreshadows events to
come. The snowman is partly built with black Alabama soil. The colors—black, black and white,
white, black again—foretell the racial unrest to occur later in the book.
At first the "snowman" resembles Mr. Avery. This is appropriate because he is a very crude
character. He behaves worse than any black character in the story. He behaves the way that
blacks are "supposed" to behave and yet he is white. This is similar to the snowman who is
"black" on the inside and white on the outside.
Well, I belief that there is some meaning to the snowman. The snowman is a symbol which
represent that we are all equal. The snowman is black inside, but white outside, meaning that
deep down all humans are the same. This is probably used by the author to express his personal
The snowman represents how things are not always as the seem to be, because the snowman is
made of mud and covered with snow. Even though the snowman looks like a real one, its not. It
also represent the white controle of the blacks becuase the white (snow) is over the black (mud).
Lastly, it shows appearence vs reality
My Teacher had said this was a Symbol of how the foundations of white society was based on
Is there a main character the snowman is portraying and why what struggles is the
character going through?
c At first, the snowman looked like a Negro because the inside of the snowman was earth.
There wasn't enough snow for the whole snowman. Then, it looked like Miss Stepanie Crawford
with large hips and skinny little arms. Eventually, they packed enough snow around the middle
that it looked too much like Mr. Avery down the street, especially with the facial features they
added. Finally, Atticus pointed out thatit looked libelous, so they added Miss Maudie's gradening
hat and hedge clippers. None of these characters, other than the earthen snowman experienced
survival struggles. Each of the neighbors had their own vices. Miss Stephanie Crawford was a
gossip and baked with liquor in the finished product. Mr. Avery was fat, and drank a lot. He also
relieved himself off the front porch of the boarding house. Miss Maudie was a good-hearted soul
who also gossipped. All of these were white characters firmly accepted in Maycombe society.
Luckily the snowman's hat and hedge clippers were some of the possessions that survived Miss
Maudie's house burning down.
If the reader wishes to attach symbolism to the snowman that the children make, he/she may see
that all the various citizens whom this snowman represents go into the whole of its creation.
Likewise, all the citizens of Maycomb, black, white, upper class, middle class, lower class--all
are part of the community, all are subject to the laws of nature, all are affected by what happens
to the others.
Perhaps, the creation of the snowman by the children demonstrates that they--unlike many of the
adults of the community--understand this interrelationship of citizens in Maycomb. Without this
understanding, the people of Maycomb suffer the "disease common to Maycomb" of which
Atticus Finch speakers. Consequently, the entire community suffers and certain elements in this
community are destroyed as a result, just as the snowman suffers damage.
Discuss the themes of racism in chapter 8.
D he theme of race is addressed through the symbol of the "snowman" that Jem creates. Note
how color is used here to reinforce the symbolism of race. The snowman is really made up of
balls of black mud and just covered with a thin veneer of white snow. This is interesting to
compare to what Atticus has always told the kids, color doesn't matter when judging someone.
Another theme involves that of helping each other out. When Miss Maudie's house catches fire
and begins to burn, everyone in Maycomb seems to turn out to help - even fire departments from
across Alabama come to help. The pinnacle of this is, of course, when Boo secretly puts the
blanket around a shivering Scout standing by and watching the events unfold.
It is interesting to note too, given the initial theme of racism, how willing the community (well,
the white members anyway) is to come together to aid Miss Maudie, but how few are willing to
come out and aid Tom Robinson - or Atticus for that matter - when they need help later in the
Note, too, Miss Maudie's determination the next morning after the fire to carry on and rebuild
her house. This is another theme that is vital to the novel. For it is Atticus, after the Robinson
trial, who is determined to stand up for what is right.
The first link is a summary of the chapter. The final link is a discussion of the themes of the
novel. See if you can apply any additional ones to the chapter.
Chapter 8 deals with the superstitions and fears people have when they cannot explain the
things they don't understand. Adults as well as children feel the need to be able to explain the
unknown, and this is why Mr. Avery blames children who misbehave for the bad weather, since
it rarely snows in Maycomb. Scout and Jem have heard all of the superstitious rumors
surrounding Boo Radley, and up to now, these rumors have guided their beliefs about the Radley
house and Boo Radley. The end of the chapter foreshadows that the children will soon learn that
Boo Radley is nothing like the gossips of Maycomb have made him out to be.
Are there any objects used in to kill a mocking bird?
Best answer as selected by question asker.
THE MORPHODITE SNOWMAN. Jem and Scout create this snowman initially to resemble
Mr. Avery, who angers them when he blames them for the sudden snowfall. Because of the lack
of snow, they build it with mud and dirt on the inside and with snow on the outside. Harper Lee
uses it to show that people--black or white--are all the same, and that appearances can be
THE RADLEY HOUSE. The mysterious Boo's home is a scary place for Jem and Scout. It
represents their fears and serves as a challenge for their innate curiosity.