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To Kill a Mockingbird: Significance of Minor Characters

In: English and Literature

Submitted By raghavchopra
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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a masterpiece of American literature. The minor characters in To Kill a Mockingbird played an important role; these characters are very relevant to the novel. The role of the minor characters in the book is significant because they outline strong themes and they portray elements of human nature. Minor characters such as Dolphus Raymond, Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose and Link Deas demonstrate strong themes such as courage, compassion and kindness such themes are very relevant to the novel. Link Deas is a marvelous minor character. Link displays courage in the novel. During the Tom Robinson trial Link gets up and says, “ I just want the whole lot of you to know one thing right now. That boy’s worked for me eight years an’ I ain’t had a speck o’ trouble outa him. Not a speck.” (Lee 195) It takes a lot of courage to speak out during the trial just to support Tom Robinson. Link is also very kind. He shows kindness because “He walked her the short way, by the Ewells’.”(Lee 249) It is very kind of Link to walk Helen home and commanding Bob Ewell to stop teasing Helen. As well as showing kindness Deas is compassionate. This is correct because “ Mr. Link Deas made a job for Helen. He didn’t really need her, but he felt bad about the way things turned out.”(Lee 249) Link shows compassion by hiring Helen he knows that she will struggle without Tom’s presence. Link Deas displays courage, kindness and compassion within the novel. Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose is an interesting character. Mrs. Dubose is a great example of courage. Atticus explains Jem Mrs. Dubose’s goal, “ She said she meant to break herself of it before she died, and that’s what she did.”(111) Mrs. Dubose shows courage by dying free and not taking morphine. Mrs. Dubose is also a racist character. She tells Scout “ Not only a Finch waiting on tables but one in the courthouse lawing for niggers.”(Lee 101) Mrs. Dubose disrespects the Finches’ for the fact that Atticus defends Tom Robinson. Mrs. Dubose is kind as well. Atticus says to Jem “she had Jessie fix you this box–¬”(Lee 111) It is really kind of Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose to have a present made for Jem. Mrs. Dubose demonstrates strong themes such as: courage, racism and kindness. Dolphus Raymond is a unique character that is also another minor character. Dolphus shows courage as well. As Dolphus is talking to the kids he tells them “ I’m not much of a drinker, but you see they could never, never understand that I live like I do because that’s the way I want to live.’’(Lee 200, 201) Another theme that Raymond epitomizes is kindness. Dolphus tells the kids why he told them his secret “Because you’re children and you can understand it.”(Lee 201) It was kind of Dolphus Raymond to tell the kids his deep secret even though the kids are small and young. Thirdly, Dolphus shows loss of innocence. As the kids find out that Raymond drinks Coca-Cola Raymond tells them “You little folks won’t tell on me now, will you? It’d ruin my reputation if you did.”(Lee 200) He tries to create sympathy for himself so the kids will not tell anyone. Dolphus Raymond is a minor character that expresses themes like: courage, kindness and loss of innocence. The roles of the minor characters in To Kill A Mockingbird are relevant because they highlight some of the main themes, which are very relevant to the novel. Three outstanding minor characters that portray important themes are Dolphus Raymond, Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose and Link Deas. Minor characters may irrelevant to the plot, but they affect the book dramatically.

Works Cited
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1960. Print.…...

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