Q:

What is the foreshadowing in "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

A:

Quick Answer

Harper Lee's use of Gothic elements in "To Kill A Mockingbird," such as the fire and the mad dog, escalates the suspense that faintly foreshadows Tom Robinson’s trial, its outcome and his subsequent tragic death. Other events that are foreshadowed in the novel include the kindness and gentle nature of Boo Radley, the maliciousness and meanness of Bob Ewell and Bob Ewell's attack on Jem and Scout Finch.

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Full Answer

On Scout's first day of school, her classmate, Burris Ewell, speaks to the teacher in a cruel and vulgar manner providing the reader a glimpse of what his life is like at home. This foreshadows the vindictive and evil disposition of his father.

Jem's pants left mended and hung neatly over the fence, the presents left for Jem and Scout in the oak tree and the blanket placed lovingly on a freezing Scout the night of the fire all combine to subtly suggest that Boo Radley is much like a "guardian angel" to the Finch children and will be there if and when they need him, according to SparkNotes and Synonym.

In the weeks leading up to the night Bob Ewell attacks Jem and Scout, he hints at his intent when he tells Atticus, after Tom Robinson is killed in prison, "One down, two to go." His blaming Atticus for his firing from Works Progress Administration, as well as his threats to Atticus, fills the reader with a sense of foreboding.

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Related Questions

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    Why is Tom Robinson considered a 'mockingbird'?

    A:

    In the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, the character Tom Robinson, who is a black man can be identified as a "mockingbird" because he is falsely accused of raping a white woman — a crime for which he is shot to death. In the context of the novel, a mockingbird is a symbol of innocence, especially when destroyed by evil.

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  • Q:

    What is the main conflict in "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

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    The main conflict in "To Kill a Mockingbird" is Atticus' decision to represent Tom Robinson after Bob Ewell accuses Tom of raping his daughter, Mayella. Atticus' two children, Scout and Jem, are taunted by other children for their father's decision. Some of the townspeople are also angered by Atticus' decision because Tom is a black man. The story is set in a segregated town.

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    How do Jem and Scout's views of Boo Radley change during the book?

    A:

    Jem and Scout Finch's views of Boo Radly change during the book "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee from mysterious and frightening to friendly and understanding. According to Dramatica's analysis of the book, the children change when they realize that Radley has saved their lives; they finally understand his perspective and accept that he is a good person.

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    What does "To Kill a Mockingbird" mean?

    A:

    "To Kill a Mockingbird," from Harper Lee's novel of the same name, is a metaphor that means "to hurt someone who has done no wrong." It references a comment in the novel by character Atticus Finch to his daughter Scout.

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