An example of figurative language in To Kill a Mockingbird is a simile.
A simile compares two unlike things. There are several examples of these in the book. A funny one is used to describe Scout’s first grade class when Miss Caroline tries to read them a story.
By the time Mrs. Cat called the drugstore for an order of chocolate malted mice the class was wriggling like a bucketful of catawba worms. (ch 2)
In this case, the wiggling class is compared to a bucket of worms because they cannot sit still. They are not interested in the book because they are “immune to imaginative literature.”
Another example of a simile is when Scout is riding the tire toward the Radley house.
The tire bumped on gravel, skeetered across the road, crashed into a barrier and popped me like a cork onto pavement. (ch 4)
In this case, we can imagine Scout falling out of the tire.
The similes bring some Southern color to the book, and also create vivid visuals in the reader’s mind. We are better able to imagine what is being described, and we get a little humor too.