- The use of literary devices allows authors to create images and sensations in the reader that enliven and embellish narratives as well as establish tones and perspectives, all of which create pathways to communication with the reader.
Here are some examples of figurative language used in Chapters 26 and 27 of To Kill a Mockingbird:
- Personification - Scout narrates that the Radley Place no longer continues to "terrify" her, but "it was no less gloomy, no less chilly
- under its great oaks.
- Figure of speech - Scout adds that she feels "a twinge of remorse" when she passes by the house.
- Simile - After the "kangaroo trial" of Tom Robinson, emotions have run high, but Atticus tells the children things will settle down. Scout reacts, "the events of the summer hung over us like smoke in a closed room."
- Metaphor - Little Chuck Little brings a current event that reports on Hitler's "washin' all the feeble-minded and--" which is a cruel metaphor for sending them to the "showers," or the gas chamber. Hitler believed in eliminating anyone who did not measure up to his standards. In another metaphor, Miss Caroline calls Hitler "a maniac."
- Metaphor - When Helen Robinson is hired by Mr. Deas, she must walk past the Ewell place where something is "chunked at her."
- Metaphor - Scout narrates that the wall were normally "packed with children."
- Simile - Atticus tells the children that Judge Taylor made Ewell "look like a fool."
- Simile - Mr. Ewell says, "Don't look at me like I was dirt." Another simile comes after Cecil Jacobs asks Scout if Atticus is a Radical. Atticus replies, "You tell Cecil I'm about as radical as Cotton Tom Heflin.
- Figure of speech - Aunt Alexandra says that "someone just walked over my grave," meaning she has had a premonition.