“To Kill a Mockingbird” is considered an important classic in American literature, receiving critical acclaim for its themes and messages. The most important two however, is coming of age and racism. The creation of the book was during civil unrest in America, and so the story is of these kids in Alabama learning what racism is, while also learning what it means to grow up without prejudice. An example of this would be the “Mad dog” scene. The author, Harper Lee, uses many literary techniques, such as symbolism, conflict, and setting, to drive the themes home. And they come into play on how it talks about racism in the U.S, and the coming of age of characters throughout the book.
In the mad dog scene, one of the main characters, Atticus Finch, is forced to shoot a rabid dog in the middle of…show more content… And in this part of the story, Tim Johnson is walking down the neighborhood where the Finch residence is at, alarming the entire place. Calpurnia, the Finch family’s helper, gives the neighborhood warnings, “Calpurnia’s message had been received by the neighborhood. Every wood door within our range of vision was closed tight...Calpurnia pounded on the door in vain. No one acknowledged her warning; no one seemed to have heard it.” (Harper Lee, “Mockingbird”, page 107.) Tying into the other literary technique of symbolism, this simple paragraph shows how utterly alone Atticus and the kids are in killing the mad dog, or destroying racism. Except for a few people by their side, like the sheriff, the street is deserted and the house doors are shut to rabies that is racism. When the dog came, Atticus tried to shield the children from racism. Yet they saw what happened anyways as well, adding to them coming of age. The setting says that unless the community comes together, racism will not be stopped. Harper Lee uses this masterfully to show the situation at hand, and the mood of loneliness that the characters