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

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

1. Atticus tells his children that Bob got everything "all out of his system," which is an idiom expressing how people do something that makes themselves feel better. (Chapter 23)

2. Atticus is explaining mob mentality as a way to justify the jury's decision to convict Tom Robinson and uses the idiom "lose their heads," which means "get mad and upset." (Chapter 23)

3. Scout uses the expression, "Gee minetti," which means "Oh my goodness!" or "Wow!" (Chapter 23)

4. While Scout is describing the females attending her aunt's missionary circle, she uses an idiom to describe Miss Rachel as being "sober as a judge," which means that she is clear-headed and not intoxicated. (Chapter 24)

5. Aunt Alexandra uses the idiom "tears him to pieces" while she explains her brother's feelings about Tom Robinson's plight. "Tears him to pieces" means to make someone extremely upset and sad. (Chapter 24)

6. Jem tells Scout, "Aw dry up," which is an idiom meaning "shut up." (Chapter 25)

7. Scout recalls Maycomb's reaction to Tom's death and reiterates some of the comments from the citizens. She recalls hearing them say that Tom was "runnin‘ fit to beat lightnin’," which is an expression meaning that he was moving at an extremely fast pace. (Chapter 25)

8. Scout uses the idiom "out of mind" to describe her feelings about Boo. The idiom "out of mind" means to forget about something. (Chapter 25)

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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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To Kill a Mockingbird

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