In Chapter 11, Atticus shoots a rabid dog in the street. This episode serves two important purposes in the novel. Before the dog incident, Scout and Jem viewed their father as old, shy, and not particularly powerful.
Lee’s intended symbolism is obvious: the rabid dog represents institutional racism, unfairly accusing a disabled black man of raping a white woman. After killing the dog, Finch warns his young son Jem, “Don’t go near that dog, you know? Don’t go near him, he’s as dangerous as he is alive.”
A leading symbol in the book To Kill a Mockingbird is the rabid dog Tim Johnson. He represents the once friendly but now dangerous and mad city of Maycomb. It all changed when Mayella Ewell, a poor white woman, was “raped” by a black man named Tom Robinson.
The rabid dog symbolizes injustice and racism. (Remember Atticus in Chapter 9 when he said people would “go mad” if there was a court case involving a black person?) Scout will come back to this incident later when she watches Atticus make himself Standing up for what is right in the courtroom. It’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.
So, by shooting the dog, Atticus is trying to protect the community from its most dangerous elements. Similarly, in defending Tom Robinson, Atticus seeks to protect the community from its most dangerous racist tendencies.
In the midst of a mad society there is a mad dog who embodies the prediction of events related to Tom Robinson’s trial that will unfold. Atticus sees the importance of staying with blacks and then helps emphasize the point that blacks should be treated more fairly and fairly.
The mad dog has rabies, which is a disease and that’s why he’s mad, Atticus quotes that “Maycomb’s usual disease is racism”. That’s why the dog is symbolized as racism and Atticus is the only chance they have to kill that dog and he’s the only chance they have on the Tom Robinson case and show the town what real courage is is.
noun. rabid dog (plural rabid dogs) a rabid dog. (figuratively, by extension) someone who is aggressive and fanatical; an attacker who cannot be reasoned with. Quotes ▼
Why is the dog incident unusual for February? It’s a crazy dog and they usually only come around in August. What is Atticus doing that amazes the kids? Shot and killed Tim Johnson with one shot.
The mad dog in To Kill a Mockingbird is called Tim Johnson, which is quite an odd name for a dog.
In the movie To Kill a Mockingbird, a rabid dog is shot. A colleague said he believed the dog featured in the film was indeed rabid (edit: looked like it to him, vet experience) but wasn’t sure and didn’t know how to find out.
Miss Maudie tries to defend Atticus (he’s a checkers grandmaster! He can play the jew’s harp!), but Scout isn’t impressed. Jem then becomes depressed when his father refuses to attend the town’s Methodists vs. Baptists football game. Seriously, the worst dad ever.
He wants them to understand the importance of real courage. He says real courage is doing something because you know it’s right. He also tells them that he has never used a gun near them to teach them that courage is not a man who holds a gun.
Atticus fires once, almost hitting Tim Johnson between the eyes, killing him instantly. Jem is visibly shocked and impressed by Atticus’ marksmanship.
What did poor Tim the dog ever do to get rabies and get shot like a dog? First of all, there is his name. It may seem odd to give an animal the surname of the family it belongs to, but it seems to be common practice in Maycomb. Judge Taylor’s pooch gets the same treatment.
Atticus saves the people from rabies and later shows them that racism is inherently evil. Killing the dog symbolizes killing racism.