To Kill A Mockingbird And The Red Tree Analysis

1371 Words6 Pages
Literature plays a vital role in enriching human experience as it provides readers with an opportunity to both engage with and challenge perceptions, by inviting readers into new worlds that teach them more about their own. By challenging personal perspectives and preconceived notions, literature can be a crucial catalyst for ideological change and the development of empathy, as seen through the exemplary works: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and The Red Tree by Shaun Tan. Lee’s classic bildungsroman adeptly confronts racial and social discrimination in the segregated American Deep South, provoking readers to step outside of their occasionally marginalised perspectives and develop empathy as they push aside prejudiced stereotypes to seek…show more content…
Henceforth, these literary works successfully challenge readers’ perspectives by exposing prejudice, inspiring empathy and conveying personal growth.

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird challenges readers to widen their perceptions and question their own biases through the confrontation of institutionalised racism and prejudice within society. The need for empathy to overcome discrimination is communicated to readers when Scout and Jem receive air guns for Christmas. Atticus pronounces, “shoot all the bluejays you want…but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird”. This eponymous quote and religious connotation of “sin” conveys Atticus’s belief that those in society who are weak and innocent must be protected. The avian imagery of the motif is further expounded by Miss Maudie when she imparts “...mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy”. Her rhythmic alliterative explanation aims to convince the children, and readers, of the importance of having humility and understanding for others. A mockingbird, a songbird that exemplifies innocence and purity,
…show more content…
The protagonist is a nameless small girl with unique red hair, who in her namelessness serves as a representation of all humanity. She is portrayed symbolically as vulnerable and alienated, isolated both physically and mentally within society. The protagonist functions as the perspectival referent for readers, conveying the ubiquitous nature of her narrow perceptions. Tan’s surreal illustrations, challenges readers’ limited perceptions of their existence by mirroring the persona’s pessimistic understandings, hindering her from realising the beauty of tomorrow found within life. Unknown to her, the notion of hope is symbolised within every frame as a visual motif: a tiny but gleaming red maple leaf hidden within her figment of depressive imaginations. However, she must overcome her limited perspective to uncover this beauty, conveying how narrow perceptions can “blind” individuals. The depiction of her melancholy perspectives and loneliness is prevalently illustrated in the “Locked Window” page, where the foreground of a dull monotone brick wall, is against the salient image of a window, barricaded by a square-shaped lock with the word ‘regret’ engraved into it. The overwhelmingly locked window symbolises to readers, of the protagonist’s sense of imprisonment as ‘regret’ further
Open Document