Each character’s personality in the book To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is intricately described, therefore giving the reader an image or idea of the kind of person he or she is. A picture of the character is formed in the mind with maybe rough edges but a soft heart on the inside. A character’s personality may be oversimplified by drawing shapes in symbolism, but the shapes may be helpful in perceiving the general extent of the characteristics. With a little help from Lee’s descriptions, I have been able to form images in my mind (and draw them on paper) of the personalities of Scout, Jem, Atticus, Dil, Calpurnia, Boo Radley, and Bob Ewell. Scout’s shape has a green half-heart bottom, two green finger-like extensions that reach out from the top, one toward Atticus and the other toward Jem, and another green finger-like extension projecting from the side toward everyone else in Maycomb.
The green in each of the finger-like extensions and the half-heart bottom represents her youth and innocence which affect her outlook on life. In the center of the shape, a red core represents the love and passion that fill her heart and is the inspiration for her actions and reasoning. Atticus is connected to Scout by the finger-like extension because Scout looks up to him, trusts him, and learns both moral and academic lessons from his actions and words. When Scout narrates, she says, “As Atticus had once advised me to do, I tried to climb into Jem’s skin and walk around in it: if I had gone alone to the Radley Place at two in the morning, my funeral would have been held the next afternoon. So I left Jem alone and tried not to bother him” (57).
The Essay on Discus the Relationship of Atticus to His Children. Compare This with a Parent/Child Relationship.
... bother Tom. Jem and Scout were worried about Atticus, so Jem, Scout and Dill snuck out and followed Atticus to the jail ... like most parents did back then. When Atticus caught Jem, Scout and Dill writing a note to Boo ... Atticus said, “Why no, son, I don’t think so. Look at the leaves, they’re all green ... and full, no brown patches anywhere.” (pg.63). Atticus could have just said ...
This shows her respect toward Atticus and demonstrates her real trust in his advice.
The other finger-like extension reaching from the top, toward Jem, shows their connection and her natural admiration, love, respect, and trust in her older sibling. “Jem gave a reasonable description of Boo: Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that’s why his hands were bloodstained- if you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time” (13).
This shows her innocence, but also her trust in Jem. Anything Jem would tell Scout, she would believe and trust that he would never lie to her. She always looked up to Jem, and, although she sometimes wouldn’t like his attitude toward her, she would always love and respect him.
The finger-like extension projecting from the side toward everyone else in Maycomb represents the innocent observing the symptoms of maturity and politics, as well as the morality and principals of those who differentiate from Atticus, such as Aunt Alexandra and Ms. Gates. “Somewhere, I had received the impression that Fine Folks were people who did the best they could with the sense they had, but Aunt Alexandra was of the opinion, obliquely expressed, that the longer a family had been squatting on one patch of land the finer it was” (130).
When Scout says this and tries to understand Aunt Alexandra’s opinion, it, again, shows the respect Atticus has planted in her. The respect that manipulates her outlook on everyone and life gives her the want to understand others and their opinion before deciding that whatever she was raised to believe is always right. Scout looks upon the Maycomb citizens with respect, wonder, and openness for understanding the ways of the town that contrast to the ways of Atticus.
... after he examines Jem, Scout and Heck Tate go into Jem's room. With Atticus is the man who brought Jem home. Scout has never seen ... people, and they head for home with Jem guiding Scout. Jem hears something unusual and tells Scout to be very quiet. Suddenly, a scuffle ... the stand next. Even though Atticus believes that she's lying, he treats her with courtesy and respect; Mayella thinks that he ...
The smooth half-heart bottom shows that she has a soft heart and wants to understand people and their sometimes contradicting ways. The size of Scout’s shape is rather large because her place in the novel, as narrator, is important because she tells the story and the reader sees everything from her point of view. Her shape is placed in the middle of the bottom because we see everything in Maycomb through her eyes. Jem’s shape has a blue, round top in which the blue represents his security and loyalty, and the round top represents his soft heart and acceptance. Jem demonstrates the way he freely accepts those different from himself and those with lower reputations: “‘Come on home to dinner with us, Walter,’ he (Jem) said.
‘We’d be glad to have you'” (23).
He also demonstrates his security by keeping Scout from continually rubbing Walter’s nose in the dirt and beating him up. Jem shows loyalty to Atticus when he and Scout are walking past Mrs. Dubose and says “‘Don’t pay any attention to her, just hold your head high and be a gentleman'” (101).
Atticus had told Jem to be a gentleman, so, out of his loyalty, he not only is a gentleman himself, but also advises Scout to do the same. The bottom half of Jem’s shape is red with wavy edges.
The red in this part of the shape, like Scout’s, represents his love and passion which molds and guides each step he takes in his journey to maturity. The wavy edges represent the way he tries not to let the nasty remarks and doings of the town get to him. Instead, he tries to let everything just roll off of him, which is also demonstrated when he and Scout pass Mrs. Dubose. Jem’s shape is placed next to Atticus, Scout, and Dill because he looks up to Atticus and follows his example before anyone else’s, is Scout’s security and sibling and grows up playing and adventuring with her, and meets Dill and becomes his only male-friend in the town and is his source of information about Maycomb. The size of his shape is smaller in comparison to Scout’s and Atticus’s shapes, but larger than the other shapes because both his maturity and effect on Scout are detailed thoroughly in the novel and his insight allows the reader a better understanding of the themes expressed.
... lunch at their house. The reason for this was because Atticus, Jem and Scout's father, was a lawyer, and had defended Walter ... him home. When she got home Atticus phoned Heck Tate, the town Sheriff, and a doctor. Jem was unconscious and had a broken ... about the Radleys, saying that when their family moved into town, they were welcomed but chose to stick to themselves. They ...
Atticus’s shape is mostly gray, with four long finger-like extensions. The extensions represent his effect on everyone in town. Everything he does and believes has an effect on someone. The gray represents his maturity and reliability. Both qualities are shown during the time before and after the trial when he ignores the name calling he receives and does not react when Bob Ewell spits on him and threatens to kill him, and, despite everything that is going on with the trial, is still a reliable father for Jem and Scout. The red circle in the center of the gray, also displayed in Jem’s and Scout’s shapes, represents the love and passion that drives Atticus to take Tom Robinson’s case.
The pink at the bottom of the shape represents his wisdom and courage. Atticus says “‘I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you ” re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do'” (112).
Atticus follows through in what he knew he would more than likely lose, demonstrating his definition of “real courage.” Atticus is wise in the way he hints at Bob’s guilt because, instead of asking Bob if he is left-handed, asks his to write his name, and also wise in the way he parents Jem, knowing and saying “‘ Before Jem looks at anyone else he looks at me, and I’ve tried to live so I can look squarely back at him'” (273).
He also distills his wisdom in Scout, which is gradually shown more and more through her narration. The blue in the center of the pink, like the blue in Jem’s shape, represents security and loyalty. Atticus, being Jem and Scout’s father, is their security. He is also the closest thing to security for Tom Robinson. Atticus is also loyal to Tom Robinson and the black community by taking the case and continuing to fight for him even though his efforts felt in vain. Atticus’s shape is set in the middle because, once again, he affects the whole town by standing by his principals.
Even though everyone in town, as well as Atticus himself, knew he would lose his case, he was respected for doing something that no one else wanted to do. The Negroes showed their respect for Atticus when Scout narrates, “I looked around. They were standing. All around us and in the balcony on the opposite wall, the Negroes were getting to their feet. Reverend Sykes’s voice was as distant as Judge Taylor’s: ‘Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father’s pass in”” (211).
... lower even then the Ewells. For the first time Scout and Jem realised that Calpurnia leads a double life, from her they learnt ... death of Scout and Jem, but circumstances forced Atticus to use his gun to kill the dog. Atticus does not want Scout and Jem to admire ... and encourage violence. Atticus hopes to show Scout and Jem that the causes of ...
Atticus’s shape is the largest of all the shapes because, although Scout is the narrator and, basically, the main character, his principals and influences on Scout and the rest of the town of Maycomb are what mold the themes of the novel. Atticus sets up the greatest moral of the novel when he says “‘I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you ” ll go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird'” (90).
Dill’s shape is blue on the outer straight edges to represent a confident appearance. He wants to seem sure and good which is shown when, the moment he first meets Jem and Scout, he says “‘I can read.
You got anything needs read in’ I can do it'” (7).
He wanted them to know right from the start that he was smart in hopes that they would like him more because of it. The red wavy inside shows his true feelings. The red represents excitement, energy, and passion, each expressed through Dill’s stories of fishing and Dracula, these qualities particularly shown in the way he told them: “As he told us the old tale his blue eyes would lighten and darken” (8).
The wavy edges represents his insecurity and want and need to feel and be loved. He is placed next to Jem and Scout because they are his only friends in Maycomb; therefore his only real connection to the town at all, excluding his Aunt Rachel.
The size of Dill’s shape is small because he doesn’t play a huge role in the novel and is only in Maycomb during the summertime. Calpurnia’s shape is round, wavy-edged, and gray on the closed end. The gray, like the gray in Atticus’s shape, represents Calpurnia’s maturity and reliability. Her maturity is shown in the way that she doesn’t let racist comments get to her, and stands by Atticus and the children during the time surrounding Tom Robinson’s trial. Her reliability was shown when Scout asked to come see her at her home and Calpurnia replied “‘Any time you want to… We’d be glad to have you'” (126).
... these years." Page 142. Calpurnia acts more like a mother-like figure in Jem and Scout's lives. Atticus disagrees with Aunt Alexandra ... was raised that way. Boo Radley, Dolphus Raymond, Tom Robinson, and other characters in the novel represent victims of prejudice in our ... from the white community, such as Dolphus Raymond and Arthur "Boo" Radley. Dolphus Raymond is rumoured to drink whiskey every ...
Allowing Scout to visit her at her own home while she was off duty showed her reliability as well as love and dedication to the children, which explains the red part of the shape. The blue part of the shape represents the security she provides for the children while Atticus is at work. She makes food for children and makes sure that she always knows where they are and that they ” re safe. The wavy edges show that Calpurnia respects and accepts everyone, but the small opening shows that she only lets a few people under skin, only a few people that she trusts and loves, like Jem, Scout, Atticus, and a few select others. Calpurnia is placed to the side, with her opening toward Jem, Scout, and Atticus because they are some of the few that she lets into that opening. She is also placed between Boo Radley and Bob Ewell because, like them, she has a quality that sets her apart from the Finches and Dill: she is black.
Her shape is large in comparison to Dill’s but still on the smaller side because she is mentioned in the novel more than Dill, but not as big as an influence on the story as Jem, Scout, and Atticus. Boo Radley’s shape is black and spiky on the end facing the other shapes, giving him an evil and mysterious reputation and appearance. Myths about him have been made up because of this appearance like “Boo was sitting in the living room cutting some items from The Maycomb Tribune to paste in his scrapbook. His father entered the room.
As Mr. Radley passed by, Boo drove the scissors into his parent’s leg, pulled them out, wiped them on his pants, and resumed his activities” (11).
The green half-heart shape facing away from the other shapes shows his true personality. The green represents his innocence and youth at heart, and the half-heart shape, similar to Scout’s, represents the similarity in their personalities and shows that they have a special connection. The red in the green shows that he has a heart and has love, but is placed specifically where it is, in the center of the green, to show, again, the similarities in his and Scout’s shapes. It is placed like Scout’s to show that, in the novel, his love is shown mainly towards her: “Atticus said…
... women on her street gossip about Boo Radley, Maudie puts them in their place. Maudie, like Atticus, has a strong sense of character ... within it, which she tries to enforce upon Scout. She is concerned with Atticus raising his children "properly." Aunt Alexandra displays her ... a mother that the children will ever have. She teaches Scout about treating people with respect and taking time to understand ...
‘Someday, maybe, Scout can thank him for covering her up.’ ‘Thank who?’ I asked. ‘Boo Radley. You were so busy looking at the fire you didn’t know it when he put the blanket around you'” (72).
His shape is small and placed in the corner to show that during most of the book he is hidden away in his house. He is also to the side with Calpurnia and Bob Ewell because of his odd antisocial, stay-inside habits. Bob Ewell’s shape is black, yellow, and spiky.
The spiky edges represent his repulsiveness and hate toward everyone. The black represents the evil and anger not only in his public actions, but in his heart as well. The yellow represents his dishonesty, which is shown when he is on the witness stand and lies: “I seen that black nigger yonder rut tin’ on my May ella” (173).
His shape is placed to the side because he, like Calpurnia and Boo, has a quality, not to be proud of, but different from the others: he is a drunk. He is small because he rarely shows up in the novel, but does play a significant role as the opposite of the innocent mockingbird.
Each shape generalizes the personalities and connections of the characters, although not in depth. Atticus is shown to have a big influence on the entire community, always maintaining his maturity and dignity. Scout’s respect is shown, as well as her special understanding connection with Boo Radley. Jem’s big heart and development of maturity can be seen in his shape and the colors designated for each part. Dill’s confident appearance and true insecurity is expressed through the edges of the shape. Calpurnia is shown as a mature caretaker that leads through example, and Bob Ewell is shown as the opposite of every moral the novel is meant to express.
When the shapes are put together to create a picture with meaning, the outcome would show the different types of people, not as individuals in Maycomb, but as the actual town of Maycomb, showing that, no matter how old or how young, each person in Maycomb matters.