Does Ms. Lee utilize oxymorons in her book "To Kill A Mockingbird"?

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linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have not been able to find any concrete examples of oxymoron, which is a figure of speech that combines two seemingly incongruous things, such as "jumbo shrimp." There may, however, be some implied oxymorons. One that I can think of for the setting and time of the novel is "racial justice." Would Tom Robinson have been convicted of rape if he had been white?

Another oxymoron might be "fatherly love" as displayed by Bob Ewell. He is a racist and is abusive to his children.

The concepts of Southern hospitality and Christian charity are turned into oxymorons in the novel as well, in the shunning of Boo Radley, the gossiping of the women, the teacher's hypocrisy, and the like.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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