Loss of innocence is one of the themes in TKAM. How does Lee make use of literary elements to accentuate this theme to the readers?

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missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lee uses the symbol of the mockingbird. That mockingbird is referred to by Atticus as a direct order, further explained by Miss Maudie, and then poetically written about by Mr. Underwood. This mockingbird symbolizes innocence because it doesn't do wrong. It only causes pleasure. The same is true with the characters represented by the mockingbird: Tom and Boo.

Lee uses irony. Scout loves a good fight. She'll get in trouble at school for fighting and feel justified by it. This vigor and passion is tamed when Atticus tells the kids not to fight, although he is in the fight of his life for Tom Robinson's life.

Lee characterizes Scout and Jem at their respective ages to demonstrate innocence. Their innocence makes them watch what goes on in the trial and determine that it's not right. But they don't have prejudice like they see adults having.

Lee uses a point of view and the narration of a child. This makes the audience consider what happens through her eyes. Children struggle with injustice. They think every action deserves an opposite reaction.  That equal reaction doesn't happen in this book. The best discussions in the book occur around looking at the world through someone else's eyes.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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