To Kill a Mockingbird
Throughout To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee uses many literary devices such as imagery, metaphors, and symbolism to portray the themes in the book and lecture the audience about human nature. For example, Scout is used to portray the loss of innocence through her life experience with her relatives and friends. The author thoroughly describes and explains path of difficulties in Maycomb to effectively teach the audience about the evils of the human race, dramatically trying to change the audience’s perspective about human nature.
Through Scout’s unfortunate exposure of the events of Dolphus Raymond’s isolation and the misunderstanding of Boo Radley, the author encourages readers to evaluate society from a new perspective. Through Mr. Dolphus Raymond’s isolated lifestyle from the prejudiced society, the audience grasps the idea of making a self-contemplated decision concerning their own thoughts and emotions, rather than following the “mob mentality”. For example, Mr.
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Dolphus Raymond, living in a society where the whites reign superior, chooses certain ethnic groups over another: in this case, he picks blacks over whites. Mr. Raymond tremendously despises all the “hell white people give colored folks, without even stopping to think that they’re people too”(Lee 269), showing that he prefers the blacks over the whites. His preference for the persecuted black race over the prejudiced white race dispels all aspects of “following a mob mentality ” and portrays the sign of self-contemplation.
Mr. Dolphus Raymond strongly believes that society will “never understand that I live like I do because that’s the way I want to live”(Lee 268). This ideal separates Mr. Raymond away from society even more because he chooses to live in a unique fashion, once again showing the aspect of self-contemplation, instead of following the “mob mentality” As the end result of the widely accepted misinterpretation of Boo Radley, the audience becomes introduced to the theme of “never judging a book by its cover”.
Boo is misunderstood because of his ghastly appearance and his horrific past of false accusations made by society. Boo Radley’s “cheeks were thin to hollowness; his mouth was wide”(Lee 362) and “his gray eyes were so coloress I thought he was blind”(Lee 362). Boo’s gray eyes make him appear dead and reckless, hammering thoughts of intimidation and fright into society’s head. Society has thought of Boo as a formidable and vicious human being, when in reality, Boo is a very respectable person, and only has intentions of well-being.
For example, during the fire of Miss Maudie’s house on a blizzard night, Scout “found myself clutching a brown woolen blanket”(Lee 95), which shows that Boo Radley wanted to protect Scout from the harsh weather. This dispels any accusations of Boo Radley being a vicious human being because he shows compassion towards Scout. Boo’s compassion towards Scout proves that look can be deceiving and that one should “never judge a book by its external cover”. The audience can learn and review two primitive, but very essential lessons as a result of Scout’s encounter with Mr.
Dolphus Raymond and the misunderstanding of her neighbor, Boo Radley. From their encounter, the audience is introduced to a new idea of self-contemplation and acting for one’s self, instead of following the “mob mentality”. As a result of the misinterpretation of Boo Radley, the audience is reminded of the theme: “never judge a book by its cover”, meaning that one should look past an individuals appearance and history and judge him/her based on their actions and attitude.