To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Metaphors In To Kill A Mockingbird

In To Kill a Mockingbird, what metaphors are there in chapters 1-3?

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Harper Lee uses figurative and descriptive language often throughout To Kill a Mockingbirdpainting a rich picture of the world that Scout grew up in. Metaphors, a literary device used to describe an an object or action in a way that isn't literally true but makes a comparison or explanation, are used often in the novel. 

Chapter One:

In the first chapter, Scout describes the town in summer. The passage is littered with descriptive language, including this metaphor:

"Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning." (pg. 5)

The description of collars as 'wilted' paints an image of flowers dying and drying up in the summer hear. The collars, most likely starched and crisp in the morning, would have loss their shape in the summer heat and 'wilted' as Scout described. 

Another description comes a page later, when Scout describes their cook:

"Calpurnia was something else again. She was all angles and bones..." (pg. 6)

The cook wasn't literally all angles and bones, but it serves a purpose of describing her features in a way that stresses the severity of her appearance. The description of Mrs. Dubose also uses this type of metaphor and comparison to express how Scout felt:

"Mrs. Dubose was plain hell." (pg. 6)

Eventually, Scout describes The Radley Place and the mysterious figure inside. She likens him to a ghost, to convey this sense of mystery and unease about the place and the inhabitant: 

"Inside the house lived a malevolent phantom." (pg. 8)

Chapter Two:

In Chapter Two, Scout...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 928 words.)

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