To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
Start Your Free Trial

How does Harper Lee use setting to establish and develop tone in To Kill a Mockingbird?

Expert Answers info

Tamara K. H. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write3,619 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The term tone is defined as the writer's attitude toward the subject in a written work. Tone can be created through diction, point of view, and other literary elements. Among literary elements, setting can be used to develop tone because setting can convey emotions. In To Kill a Mockingbird, author Harper Lee uses the setting of the sleepy town of Maycomb, a town aroused to activity due to racial tensions, to develop her rebuking yet accepting tone throughout the book.

Author Lee describes the setting of Maycomb as a "tired old town" in the opening chapter. It is a "tired old town" for several reasons: (1) the story takes place during the Great Depression when no one has any money to do much or go anywhere; (2) being a very rural town, it looks a bit run-down with its grass growing on sidewalks and its courthouse sagging; and (3) its people are very set it in their ways, moving slowly as they carry on with the traditions of their day. Lee's opening description of Maycomb helps paint the picture...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 748 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now




check Approved by eNotes Editorial

litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write15,968 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial