Figurative Language in To Kill a Mockingbird

Many authors use figurative language in order to make their text more attractive, exciting and easy-going. The novel by Lee is not an exception, and we’ll prove you why.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" is a novel by Harper Lee. The literary debut of an American writer, who was a lawyer by profession, was accompanied by great success. Right after publication, this book was awarded by the Pulitzer Prize and translated into twelve languages. Because of this book, we think of eternal questions of racism, love, education, understanding, violence, justice, brotherhood, sense of life.

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The novel defines the notion of "conscience," it’s a peculiar benchmark in adolescence. The role of different “literary tools” is very significant as they help make the impression on the target audience.

This type of language is the rhetorical figures, words or expressions used in figurative meaning in order to strengthen the imagery of the language, the artistic expressiveness of speech. They are widely used in literary works, oratory and everyday speech. It reveals the essence of the depicted subject, the phenomenon; they are the means of personalization of the character, shows the author's attitude towards the depicted. Literary devices provide a text with expressiveness and emotionality. Aristotle believed that the ability to create device is a sign of the talent of the writer.

Figurative language includes epithet, comparison, metaphor, metonymy, irony, sarcasm, allegory, a symbol, hyperbole, lithotum, and periphrasis. The simplest kinds of trails are epithets and comparisons. Let’s take a look at some of them.

The conversation in the book does not concern the birds at all. This is a metaphor. The purpose for which the book is written is opened only at the end. All beginning is created in order to feel the better ending.

We observe other metaphors like: Dill and Jem were roses grown in concrete gardens, beautiful and forlorn. Scout is a rolling stone, and it’s bred in the bone. We also are faced with:

- Alliteration: Change the channel.

- Assonance: Go slow over the road (repetition of the long o sound).

- Irony: Reverend Sykes’ hand was as soft as a rock.

- Comparison: Not like a lady sewed ‘em, like somethin’ I’d try to do. All crooked. It’s almost like; Like somebody was readin’ my mind… like somebody could tell what I was gonna do; You look like a picture this evening.

- Hyperbole: It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.

- Epithet: Man’s best friend, White-armed girl, "Turn, hell-hound, turn," said Jem.

- Symbols: Atticus Finch symbolizes a kind of personification of the image of the father, decency, courage, and responsibility.

According to our figurative analysis, we see that numerous devices exist in the book. Due to them we perfectly plunge into the story of a little girl from the American South named Jean.

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