Hyperbole In To Kill A Mockingbird

What are some examples of imagery, similes, metaphors, hyperbole, and personification in Chapter 2 of To Kill A Mockingbird?

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 2, Scout uses a simile to describe Miss Caroline. "She looked and smelled like a peppermint drop." Scout uses another simile to describe/compare learning to read with learning to tie her shoes and learning to button her union suit. 

Now that I was compelled to think about it, reading was something that just came to me, as learning to fasten the seat of my union suit without looking around, or achieving two bows from a snarl of shoelaces. 

Miss Caroline uses what could be described as personification when she stops Scout's story about how her name was once "Bullfinch." Miss Caroline says, "Let's not let our imaginations run away with us dear." Imaginations, although part of a person's consciousness, do not physically run as a person would. So this loosely functions as personification. 

When some of the children get out their buckets for lunch, Lee/Scout uses imagery to describe the reflections from the buckets on the ceiling. "Molasses buckets appeared from nowhere, and the ceiling danced with metallic light." 

Jem's description of an entailment is another simile. Jem says an entailment is "as a condition of having your tail in a crack." Since this comparison uses "as," it is common to call it a simile. 

When Scout is whipped by Miss Caroline, she notes that a "storm of laughter" broke out in the classroom. Following this, when Miss Caroline threatens the rest of the class, the class "exploded again" and became "cold sober" when Miss Blount came in. Metaphor is a figure of speech in which a thing, idea, or action is referred to by a term usually denoting another thing, idea, or action. The metaphors are describing laughter as a "storm" and as an explosion. The class, when it becomes quiet, is described as "cold sober" which describes their silence and attentive demeanor in terms usually used to describe levels of intoxication. 

A hyperbole is an exaggeration. These can be subtle or dramatic or somewhere in between. At lunch, when Scout says, "Molasses buckets appeared from nowhere," this is an exaggeration, hyperbole. It was also an example of hyperbole when Miss Caroline scolds Scout, telling her that she's "started off on the wrong foot in every way." Scout was merely trying to help Miss Caroline understand Maycomb families; and Scout also had no idea (in Miss Caroline's eyes or anyone's) that learning to read from your parents was wrong. It was clearly an exaggeration on Miss Caroline's part to say Scout was wrong in every way; Miss Caroline was nervous and tried to get control of her class by making Scout an example. 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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