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Literary Devices (To Kill A Mockingbird)
Transcript of Literary Devices (To Kill A Mockingbird)
Literary Devices Definition
(n) a literary or linguistic technique that produces a specific effect, especially a figure of speech, narrative style, or plot mechanism
Table of Contents
1. Our task
2. Introduction to literary devices
To Kill a Mockingbird Literary Devices
Ms. Walker - Rm. #306
Metaphor is a comparison without the use of like or as. The poet states that one thing is another. It is usually a comparison between something that is real or concrete and something that is abstract
Allusion is a figure of speech that makes brief reference to a historical or literary figure, event, or object. Biblical allusions are frequent in English Literature. Strictly speaking, allusion is always indirect. It seeks, by tapping the knowledge and memory of the reader, to secure a resonant emotional effect from the associations already existing in the reader’s mind.
-The mockingbird represents innocence.
-A mockingbird is a harmless bird that does nothing but sing.
-It represents and further develops the theme of prejudice.
-the mockingbird symbolizes both Boo Radley and Tom Robinson and how they too, symbolize innocence.
-Atticus tries to teach Jem and Scout that killing a mockingbird is a sin
-Discrimination of black people is clearly shown in the case of Tom Robinson, who is accused of raping a young girl.
-Atticus did what he could to defend Tom even though he knew he had no chance.
-The jury had their mindset that Tom was guilty, even though all evidence shows that Tom was innocent
-he wasn’t given a fair trial due to his skin colour that he was seen as “guilty.”
-When Tom Robinson gets shot after trying to escape from prison, this show that a white man would always be victorious against a black man
-Boo Radley represents fear and a mockingbird in a way.
- He represents fear because he isolated himself from society and is seen as an odd monster by society.
-Until people can understand and accept Boo, he will always be stuck in a world filled with fear, lies, and ignorance.
-Boo Radley can be seen as a mockingbird when he killed Bob Ewell to protect Jem and Scout
-Scout realizes that submitting Boo to a trial would be similar to shooting a mockingbird because Boo didn’t mean any harm.
-Just because Arthur Radley was not like everyone else in Maycomb, did not make him a bad person.
Definition: The use of vivid/figurative language to represent objects, actions or ideas. Patterns of imagery are sometimes taken to be keys to a deeper meaning of a work.
Example in TKAM
“Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that's why his hands were bloodstained-if you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time.”
Arthur Boo Radley
-described by Jem with detailed physical attributes which invite the readers to visualize his appearance and question his sanity from a child’s perspective
The imagery of Boo develops a thrill to the children (The Boo Radley game, sneaking around his house) and created a mysterious vibe around the Radely house- which makes the readers believe the possibility that Boo may be dangerous
-he is later revealed to be just as harmless as a mockingbird as the story progresses. His innocence relates to the theme regarding prejudice because Maycomb’s society is quick to target anyone who is seen as “Different”
Definition: A projection, or indication of upcoming events in a story.
- In the 6th chapter, the disturbance at the Radley place was automatically blamed on a “Negro” which proves that the people of Maycomb are racist and show the least respect and favor to Black people at the time. “Shooting a black scared him white”
-many of the town citizens began criticizing the Finch Family as being “Nigger lovers” for Atticus’s defence of Tom Robinson in which he supports. Of Atticus’s character, he shows common morality for being able to understand someone else’s perspective without racial bounds.
-The foreshadowing events define that Tom’s well-reasoned defense against being accused of raping a white girl (Mayella Ewell) is unsuccessful due to the ignorance, injustice and prejudice of black people in Maycomb when facing whites. The foreshadowing of the failure reveals the corrupt society of Maycomb and ignorance towards people who are different.
"disturbance between the North and the South"
-It refers to the The Civil War in 1861-1865
-"Simon would have regarded with impotent fury the disturbance between the North and the South, as it left his descendants stripped of everything but their land…” (Pg. 4)
-This allusion helps you understand why Maycomb treats the black people the way they do.
-During the civil war, the north wanted to abolish slavery while the south, which the story takes place in, doesn't want to treat the black people like people after having them as slaves for so long. Thus the reason for their mistreatment
How is the use of language, allusion. irony and imagery used in order to develope theme or reveal character?
“Now you tell your father not to teach you anymore. It’s best to begin reading with a fresh mind. You tell him I’ll take over from here and try to undo the damage-Your father does not know how to teach.” -Miss Caroline fisher (23 Lee)
The use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning.
Allusions that help you understand the setting of the story:
A Literary technique usually used to express artistic meaning through the use of language, word choice, and word play (e.g. metaphor, hyperbole).
How it develops theme:
In the book, irony is used to suggest the contrast of the literal meaning being put forth to the reader (Tom Robinson being prosecuted) to the contextual meaning/the theme being implied (The discrimination against coloured people.) The Real significance is revealed not by the words themselves but the situation (The case of Tom Robinson) and the context in which they are placed (a town with racist values.)
E.g When miss Caroline Fisher tells scout to stop reading at home.
How it reveals character:
The dramatic irony in the book reveals information about Scout's situation of which she is not aware. The reader is informed of what Scout does or does not know. This depicts characteristics about her character.
The situational irony in the book also reveals character traits as well as knowledge that a character may have had. This results when well-founded expectations — appear to be secure but fail to manifest.
E.g When Jem, Atticus, and the reader are sure that Tom Robinson is innocent but he is found guilty.
-This allusion is noticeably an allusion of Adolf Hitler and the persecution of Jews
-“Nome, Miss Gates, it says here-well anyway, old Adolf Hitler has been after the Jews and he’s puttin’ em in prisons and he’s taking away all their property and he won’t let any of ‘em out of the country and he’s washin’ all the feeble-minded and-“ (Pg. 327-328)
-“There are no better people in the world than Jews, and why Hitler doesn’t think so is a mystery to me” (Pg. 329)
-this allusion shows how innocent people around the world are being convicted for no reason
-this particular allusion in some way is ironic because the students and Miss Gates recognize racial prejudice outside of their home town but not in their own town
-it's to help enhance the theme of racial prejudice and show you how ignorant and oblivious people are of it
"all men are created equal"
-This refers to a phrase from The Declaration of Independence
-“Our courts have their faults as does any human institution, but in this country, our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal” (Pg. 274)
-Atticus says this phrase to show the jury that all men should be treated equally
-He says this to help expand on the theme of people being discriminating against black people to show that being racially prejudice is wrong, especially when dealing with the law.
These 3 main metaphors help symbolize and explain the novel's main themes: 1. innocent people are being convicted
for no good reason
2. the discrimination of black people
from the white people
3. the fear society has against people
who are "different"
How it develops theme:
The use of language in this book is to convey messages from the author that may not seem obvious to the reader. Many of these hidden messages play a role in revealing the theme to the reader.
E.g. the use of Irony in the situation where Miss Caroline fisher tells scout not to read at home conveys a message about education to the reader.
How it develops character:
The use of language helps the reader to formulate a profile for each character. Language helps the reader understand the character more efficiently because it is as if you have an example for each trait.