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Literary devices in To Kill a Mockingbirdwhat are two literary devices such as...

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ibarbiexoxo | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 18, 2012 at 5:27 PM via web

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Literary devices in To Kill a Mockingbird

what are two literary devices such as foreshadowing, symbolism, similes, metaphors, personification, and allusions to enhance the story and whats an example of each. Can you explain how it contributes to the novel setting or plot? Thanks

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

Posted December 18, 2012 at 6:55 PM (Answer #2)

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The most obvious symbolism in the novel comes in the form of the mockingbird--an innocent songbird (like the finch) that also takes shape in human forms. Tom and Boo are human mockingbirds: innocent men accused of crimes they did not commit. Foreshadowing can be found throughout the novel: There are several suggestions that the always unseen Boo Radley is keeping a watchful eye on Jem and Scout, so the attack on the way home from the Halloween pageant--and the characters involved--should not come as a total surprise.


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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:03 PM (Answer #3)

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The novel begins with foreshadowing.  At the start, we are told that Jem broke his arm and that the Ewells were involved.  Basically, the entire novel is a flashback.  This foreshadowing prepares us for trouble, and we know that Scout is an adult narrating events from her childhood.

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e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 24, 2013 at 9:51 PM (Answer #4)

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Another symbolic element from the novel are Scout's pants. She chooses to wear pants instead of dresses and in doing so asserts her values, her independence, and her individuality. Her pants become a symbol of her unique nature and a representation of Scout's contrary personality. 

As this is a novel interested in self-discovery, Scout's pants take on an extra significance as a symbol of her true or chosen identity.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 1, 2013 at 9:12 PM (Answer #5)

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The extensive discussions of social ranking and social history early in the novel foreshadow the conflicts that issue from such importance placed on social position and status.  From the prestige of the Finch family, Miss Caroline's being from Winston County in North Alabama, a county that sided with the North in the civil war, the Cunninghams, who, though poor, insist upon paying their debts in anyway they can, to the lazy and sordid Ewells who feed off the welfare system, the narrative develops to the major conflict of the Tom Robinson trial.

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