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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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In To Kill a Mockingbird, what advantages does the author gain by shifting from an adult's point of view to a child's?

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Largely, this shift in point of view helps create elements of humor that lighten the otherwise dark subject matter of the book. Beyond that, the shifts between adult and child perspectives serve the purpose of reinforcing the theme of innocence and naivete. Seeing how Scout as a child views things, there fleeting impact on her life, her childish exaggeration of minor events (not seeing Dill was the worse day of her life....she was upset about it for three days), and her naive view of major events allow the audience to see what is truly important without a dark and cynical perspective. The shifts aren't meant to be distracting, but rather to allow the audience to see the difference between how an adult views such events and how a child perceives life.

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