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In Chapters 22-25 in To Kill a Mockingbird, what are some examples of euphemisms and...

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emilysargent | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted March 27, 2011 at 8:50 AM via web

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In Chapters 22-25 in To Kill a Mockingbird, what are some examples of euphemisms and idioms.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 27, 2011 at 10:46 AM (Answer #1)

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A euphemism is a word that is substituted for another word or expression that might otherwise be offensive or unpleasant. Euphemisms are often amusing or are meant to mislead. An idiom is similar to a euphemism but instead usually carries a figurative meaning rather than a literal meaning. Idioms are also more often groups of words or an expression.

There are many examples of both literary terms throughout the chapters of To Kill a Mockingbird. Here are a few from Chapters 22-25.

  • Alexandra substitutes the word "cynical" for another unnamed word. (Chapter 22)
  • Scout describes the kitchen table as being loaded with "enough food to bury the family." (Chapter 22)
  • The word "colored" when referring to Tom Robinson could be considered a euphemism if it was meant to substitute for the "N" word, for example, but there is no evil intent upon Atticus' part when he says it. (Chapter 22)
  • Scout threatens to "flung a fit." (Chapter 23)
  • Atticus uses the terms "shadow of a doubt" and "square deal." (Chapter 23)
  • Jem and Scout use the words "yap" and "yappy." (Chapter 23)
  • Alexandra refers to Walter Cunningham Jr. as "trash." (Chapter 23)
  • Mrs. Merriweather uses the word "darky." (Chapter 24)
  • Aunt Alexandra uses the term "the last straw."  (Chapter 24)

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