Al Capone Does My Shirt Symbols and Motifs

Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone Does My Shirts

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Al Capone Does My Shirt Symbols and Motifs


Symbols and Motifs

Buttons and Baseball

The love that Moose has for baseball is similar to Natalie’s love for her box of buttons. Both symbolize the character’s passion and thus, say a lot about their individual identity. Even Jimmy, a minor character, has his own deep interest in building simple machines. It is our interests and our passions that make us who we are, and this is one of the main reasons why Moose does not follow Mrs. Kelly’s rule to deny Natalie her buttons. He thinks it is “cruel” to refuse her something that is so essential to her. This parallels his deep despair when he cannot play his favorite game and his obsessive search for a convict baseball in the latter half of the story. 


Early on in the novel, Moose describes himself as a rule-abiding person and within his first couple of days on Alcatraz Island, Warden Williams provides…

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