What are examples of diction in To Kill A Mockingbird?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Diction can be defined as the style of speaking or writing that is determined by the word choice of the author. Throughout the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee's use of diction characterizes various community members of Maycomb and differentiates.

In chapter 3, Burris Ewell is asked to leave the school in order to bathe himself after a cootie crawls out of his hair. Burris hails from an uneducated country home, which is viewed with contempt throughout the community. His informal, colloquial diction reveals his background and lack of education. When Miss Caroline tells him to wash his hair with lye soap, he responds, "What fer, missus?" (Lee, 27).

In chapter 9, the audience is introduced to Uncle Jack, who visits Maycomb for the Finch family's Christmas get-together. Unlike many of the characters in the novel, Uncle Jack is an educated man, who uses formal diction when he speaks. By using the word "invective" to describes Scout 's offensive expressions, Uncle Jack demonstrates his knowledge and wide...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 604 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on