“To kill a mockingbird” was written by American writer Harper Lee. The book is a magnificent, powerful novel. It received almost unanimous critical acclaim and several awards.
The book is about Tom Robinson, a Negro, who was charged with raping a white girl. This particular abstract depicts the trial. Atticus Finch, an experienced lawyer, tried to prove the innocence of the Robison. But the jury announced a verdict that Robinson was guilty.
The story was told on behalf of Jean Louise, Atticus’s daughter. It made the story more vivid, tense and emotional. As a daughter she noticed a lot of details which were unusual for Atticus. (… Atticus did something I never saw him do before or since, in public or in private: he unbuttoned his vest, unbuttoned his collar, loosened his tie, and took off his coat. He never loosened a scrap of his clothing until he undressed at bedtime, and to Jem and me, this was the equivalent of him standing before us stark naked…). Her notes revealed the emotions and feelings of the lawyer, his changing condition during the process of the trial. If the story were written from the point of view of Atticus or the author, it would turn down as a mater-of-fact narration. The details were omitted. (such as Tom Robinson was toying with papers…). The story would lose its objectivity, because Atticus could not describe the event without personal opinion.
The author represents the Atticus’s speech in direct form. If it was represented indirectly, the reader would not hear the lawyer’s voice. On the contrary, the author’s point of view would prevail and the reader could think the author foist his opinion. Atticus words in direct speech have more effect on the reader. It creates such atmosphere as if the reader is in the court himself.
The general atmosphere of this abstract is rather tense. The author keeps the reader in suspense till the very end. The readers take their breath wishing to know that the Negro is innocent. But the author uses the effect of defeated expectancy. In my opinion, the climax in this text is the verdict of the jury. Every “guilty” destroys any reader’s hope for justice.
And this is exactly what the author wished to convey. She claims all men are created equal. That means all men have equal rights no matter what colour skin he or she has. People think with stereotypes. All Negroes lie, all Negroes are basically immoral beings, all Negro men are not to be trusted around the woman. But the reality can be the exact opposite of it. There are good Negroes and bad Whites. The author used parallel constructions to emphasize how narrow-minded people could be when they generalize. The court is probably the only place where all generalizations should be avoided. It is a crime to find somebody guilty without worthy evidence and proofs.
There was nothing but strong racial discrimination in those days in America. Nowadays, the country is on the way of full tolerance to each other.
A lot of stylistical devices penetrated throughout the text. All these means were used on purpose to emphasize the author’s opinion. The text is rich with repetitions (some people would have us believe – some people are smarter than others, some people have more opportunity, some people make more money than others, some ladies make better cakes than others – some people are born gifted beyond the normal scope of most men.). Repetitions and numerous parallel constructions allow the lawyer to seem more persuasive, to make people think over his words, to make his speech more clear for the audience.
Numerous epithets and similes were used to express the author’s attitude. Epithets give personal appraisal of the author, his individual opinion. They convey his emotions. (Judge tailor’s voice … was tiny). This epithet can express the doubt of the judge.
As far as similes are concerned there are this case is as simple as black and white, I saw the jury return, moving like...
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