To Eliminate a Mockingbird– Critical Response
‘To Eliminate a Mockingbird’ is a novel skillfully composed by Harper Lee to illustrate the prejudicial, discriminative and racist mindsets of white society in Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930’s. Maycomb in the beginning glimpse seems to be a warm and mild place. However, as the novel advances, the backdrop of slavery, racism and poverty as a result of the Great Anxiety ends up being common. Lee explores various styles such as the symbol of the mocking bird as a metaphor for innocence, social justice problems such as bigotry and prejudice and the everyday attitudes of individuals living in little Deep South towns such as Maycomb.
She effectively uses a range of language techniques consisting of irony, satire, humour and the use of metaphors and colloquial language to develop characters and communicate these styles in such a way that is interesting appealing and believed provoking. The story is informed through the point of view of Scout, the child of Atticus, a popular, widowed lawyer. Harper Lee’s ability in developing brilliant imagery and a detailed description of the town is made possible as Scout recounts the story as an adult. The story is divided in two parts.
The first deals with Jem (Scouts older brother) and Scout’s obsession with a mysterious man called Arthur “Boo” Radley, who shares the “scary” Radley Home with his father Mr. Nathan Radley. When Scout and Jem befriend a boy called Dill, their fixation his heightened and they play video games illustrating the life of Boo the method they perceive it. The 2nd Part of the Unique handle Tom Robinson, a black man who is charged with raping Mayella Ewell, a white lady. Tom is defended by Atticus and it is here that the prejudices of white society become prevalent and challenging.
Harper Lee effectively uses paradox l as Jem and Scout attempt to make sense of a society that strives to be ethical and good, yet embraces meaningless bias and racism. This use of paradox and satire combined with the innocence of the kids develops humour (for instance, when Scout decides to beat Dill up so that he would wed her) in the novel in fascinating way. Colloquial language common of the environment in which this novel is set is used constantly and appropriately. Nevertheless, differences even in colloquial language can be noted in between white and black society.
Calpurnia, a black housemaid looking after Scout and Jem, reveals this very clearly, using ‘White man’s language’ when in their business and altering to ‘black man’s jargon’ when in the company of backs. This divide in language is utilized to stress the divide in society in between the 2 cultures. Language is successfully used in the novel to establish personas and characterization. An example of this is the manner in which the Ewell’s usage of nasty language as they resolve others, revealing their bad education and social standing.
Once again, irony is produced here when Bob Ewell asserts himself much better than a black guy yet Tom Robinson speaks much more politely and without nasty language. Mayella reveals an extreme lack of education in her speech as she struggles to discover the ideal words to reveal herself clearly. Atticus, on the other hand, uses formal language of a high requirement and includes metaphors, irony and humour in a manner that is impressive and frequently subtle. This is used to establish his persona as an extremely respectful, open- minded, moral male.
Numerous themes such as discrimination, bias, and social justice are included into this novel. The racist and frequently illogical prejudices of white society against black society ties into the theme of social justice, a prime example being the outcome of Tom’s case showing how the world we reside in may not constantly be just and how justice depends on the attitudes of people. However, possibly the most main style is the significance of the title “To eliminate a mockingbird”. This concept, the ridiculous persecution of an innocent person, is utilized to explain Tom Robinson’s lawsuit.
Buffooning birds sing for individuals’s pleasure, do no damage to the community and are a symbol of pureness and innocence. Tom Robinson is viewed as a mockingbird when he is incorrectly convicted over the rape of Mayella Ewell since of the bias of white society. Lee uses the repetition of the words “guilty … guilty … guilty” to stress the condemnation of an innocent guy, or in a metaphorical sense, the killing of a buffooning bird. Boo Radley might also be viewed as a mocking bird.
In the start of the unique, he is viewed as a hazardous, manic person by the townsfolk just because of his strange persona (Boo hardly ever ventures out of the Radley House), though he had devoted no criminal activity. Nevertheless, after Boo leaves gifts in a hole in a tree, puts a blanket over scout when she is standing in the cold and ultimately, saves Scouts life when Bob Ewell tries to kill her to look for vengeance for the demoralisation of his household, throughout the court case, Jem and Scout realise that he is actually a harmless, kind, person.
Once again, we see how an innocent man can be discriminated against by prejudice borne from lack of knowledge. In conclusion, Harper Lee has attained her function in making us consider the method we deal with others and the results that our own prejudices may have on their lives. She has accomplished this by successfully conveying the common attitudes of white society in Deep South towns in the 1930’s (particularly towards African Americans), and developing styles and characters through her use of language gadgets such as colloquial language, satire and paradox in a manner that works and engaging.