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

  • Q:

    Who is the narrator of "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

    A:

    The narrator of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" is Scout Finch. Scout is also one of the main characters of the book, and, as the narrator, she recalls memories from her childhood.

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  • Q:

    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:

    Why does Dill run away from home and back to Maycomb?

    A:

    Dill runs away from home in chapter 14 of "To Kill a Mockingbird," by Harper Lee, because he thinks his mother and her new husband do not care about him. Scout and Jem find him hiding under Scout's bed after she steps on something that she thinks is a snake.

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  • Q:

    How did Jem lose his pants?

    A:

    According to CliffsNotes, in Harper Lee's novel "To Kill a Mockingbird," Jem loses his pants as he flees from a neighbor who is firing a shotgun. Jem gets his pants caught on the fence in the yard, so he takes them off in order to get away quickly.

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