Allusions In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Whether it be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows or The Scarlet Letter, Western literature is covered with biblical allusions. Some readers may not pay much attention to these literary devices, but little do they know about the importance of these allusions. In a New York Times editorial, Pulitzer prize winning author Marilynne Robinson discusses the power and importance of biblical allusion stating, “these references demonstrate that in the culture there is a well of special meaning to be drawn upon that can make an obscure death a martyrdom and a gesture of forgiveness an act of grace. Whatever the state of belief of a writer or reader, such resonances have meaning that is more than ornamental, since they acknowledge complexity of experience …show more content…
To specify, in Nelle Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout’s father, Atticus, is displayed as a humble, caring, and moral man. What is significant about this story is that Atticus fights for the innocence of a Black man named Tom Robinson. During the time in which the story took place, Blacks were considered to be of the lower class and inferior. Despite the lack of enthusiasm from most of his community, Atticus helps Tom and risks his reputation. He believes that it would be morally wrong if he abandoned Tom and he would not be able to “go to church and worship God if [he] didn’t try to help that man” (139). These actions and personality traits are similar to Jesus Christ in the Bible. In the Bible, Jesus says that he has “not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matthew 9:13). This statement is what Atticus implies to the people of Maycomb when he accepts to fight for Tom’ justice and takes all of the insults thrown at him without retaliating. Atticus’ Christ-like qualities intensifies some of his characteristics as the novel goes on. His kind and caring nature appeals to the Black community and many African Americans praise him even though he loses the