Meet Tim Johnson. The was simply snuffling along, investigating exciting smells, burying bones only to dig them up again, and looking out for lady dogs, when—bam—the symbolic framework of the book picks the up and decrees he has to die. Why? What did bad Tim the Dog ever before do to get infected with rabies and also be gunned down like, well, a dog?

For starters, there"s his name. It may seem strange to provide an animal the last surname of the family members it belongs to, however it"s apparently usual practice in Maycomb. Referee Taylor"s pooch gets the same treatment. But much more interestingly, it enables the dog"s name to sound suspiciously favor that of another character. Tim Johnson…Tom Robinson? Coincidence? Maybe. Yet Scout"s storage of she father shoot the dog does pop up much more than once in instances involving Tom, and doesn"t gain mentioned otherwise.

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For example, after ~ Scout turns away the lynch mob, her storage of Atticus in prior of the prison merges through her memory of him shoot the dog.

I was really tired, and also was drifting right into sleep as soon as the storage of Atticus calmly folding his newspaper and also pushing earlier his hat became Atticus standing in the middle of an empty waiting street, advertise up his glasses. The full definition of the night"s occasions hit me and I began crying. (16.3)

But why does Scout combine the two images? probably they"re both instances of Atticus doing hard things he doesn"t desire to do. Or the Atticus dealing with off through a mindless threat. (He does later on refer come the men in the lynch mob as "animals" <16.22>).

Scout return to this memory again when she"s dozing off, wait for the jury come announce its decision in Tom"s case:

The feeling grew until the atmosphere in the courtroom was specifically the exact same as a cold February morning, once the mockingbirds to be still, and the carpenters had actually stopped hammering on miss Maudie"s brand-new house, and every lumber door in the community was shut together tight together the doors that the Radley Place. A deserted, waiting, empty street, and the courtroom to be packed through people. A steaming summer night was no different from a winter morning. <…>. I expected Mr. Tate come say any kind of minute, "Take him, Mr. Finch...." (21.46)

Why go Scout have this feeling? In both past and present, she"s wait for something to happen; both times, she has actually no strength over the outcome. In the previous instance, Atticus"s skill with a gun was able to conserve the ar from the mad dog; will certainly he have the ability to do the very same this time? The same photo recurs once an ext as the jury delivers your verdict.

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I saw something just a lawyer"s child could be intended to see, might be expected to watch for, and also it was choose watching Atticus walk into the street, raise a rifle to his shoulder and also pull the trigger, but watching every the time learning that the gun to be empty. A jury never ever looks in ~ a defendant it has actually convicted, and also when this jury come in, not one of them looked in ~ Tom Robinson. (21.48)

Even Atticus"s talent for sharp-shooting can"t do anything if the gun isn"t loaded. It"s tempting to shot to map out the symbolism here—is the total the legal process? are the bullets the jury? is Tim Johnson racism?—but that can be one oversimplification. Maybe it"s simply the emotion Scout has actually that"s the link in between the two situations—the sick fear at what"s happening, yet knowing the it can"t be any other way.