Honors ELA Period 1
28 March 2018
To Kill A Mockingbird
The novel To Kill A Mockingbird is a masterpiece that was transformed from Nell Harper Lee’s own experiences into a timeless creation of literature. Many novels written from a child’s perspective have a coming of age aspect to it. In the instance of To Kill A Mockingbird, the passage that portrays the utmost growth in the main character Scout is within chapter 31. In the passage, the literary devices used include imagery, metaphors, diction, characterization, mood, the point of view, allegory, connotation, flashbacks, and foreshadowing. Lee is an outstanding novelist who clearly grasps the action of correctly applying these literary techniques to give a better understanding of the concept of coming of age.
Imagery is the descriptive use of language to paint a picture in the reader’s mind. Lee creates imagery through the word choice or diction in the passage to display Boo Radley’s appearance and other events within the chapter. Imagery is a direct literary device used by all novelists to portray their thoughts when writing the book onto a reader. A theme in a novel is ultimately devised by the literary elements within said novel. Metaphors are symbolic phrases to represent a situation and not to be taken literally. An example of a metaphor within the novel is when Atticus is discussing meeting Boo at the end of the passage and Scout explains how she thought Boo would be mean but he’s a nice man and Atticus says, “Most People are, Scout, when you finally see them.” The meaning of this phrase is not that when you simply look at a man you see him. The meaning is that when you put aside your beliefs and opinions and look within someone to who they really are, you see the person they are and not just your beliefs and opinions anymore. Metaphors are key to creating the theme in this novel because when you thoroughly analyze the text, you discover that Scout comes of age when she takes Atticus’ advice of not knowing a man until you step into their skin and walk around in it. Diction is the choice of words used to create a certain effect, and is precisely used in To Kill A Mockingbird. For example, in chapter 31, Lee settled upon words such as “ma’am”, “sir”, “peering”, and “apprehensive” to produce a rich feeling of knowledge while reading. Using simple words such as “girl”, “boy”, “looking”, and “scared” is easy but simply not intriguing enough. Complex words further the yearning to continue reading and can often widen one’s vocabulary. To close out, diction is a necessity in a novelist’s understanding of writing and developing a theme.
An allegory is a story that, when evaluated is found to have an underlying meaning or message. To Kill A Mockingbird itself is an allegory. The novel is written surrounding one sentence spoken by Atticus Finch. The allegory of the novel is, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point...