What techniques does Harper Lee use in To Kill A Mockingbird that represents the idea of "the outsider"?if you could provide evidence/quotes, that would be great!  THANK YOU.

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee uses gothic imagery to show that Boo Radley is an outsider, bird symbolism to show that both mockingbirds (innocent characters like Boo, Tom, and Dolphous) and blue jays (the Ewells) exist on the fringes of society, and she uses point of view to show that the narrator (Scout), the reader, and all visitors to Maycomb (Miss Caroline Fisher, Aunt Alexandra) are essentially alien to the small town political and social mores.

Through Scout's narration, Harper Lee shows that nearly all individuals who don't abide by conscience are outsiders in the novel:

They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions... but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself.  The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.

Here, Harper Lee shows that anyone ruled by "group think," "mob rule," and stereotypes is an illegitimate "insider" who make "outsiders" of those who are different: black (Tom), old (Mrs. Dubose), young (Scout), handicapped (Tom), reclusive (Boo), or learned and compassionate (Atticus).

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