Text Analysis From To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee The novel To Kill a Mockingbird belongs to Harper Lee, an American writer. The author has a considerable role in the literary field and she was even awarded the Pulitzer Prise. The writer’s background had a significant impact on her novel, as there are many similarities between her life and the main characters. For example, her father was a lawyer, as Atticus Finch; she also had an elder brother, as Scout; she grew up in 1930’s in Alabama, and the events of the story have the same setting of time and place. Moreover, Harper Lee was inspired by the so-called Scottsboro Trials and she preserved the fairly accurate examples in the novel. It becomes obvious that the author has put a lot of her own thoughts and feelings into the story. For this reason, To Kill a Mockingbird is very vivid, realistic, emotional and rejoices its popularity over the years. The given extract is particularly important as it depicts a key part of the novel-the trial, where the thin line between fairness and injustice is represented in a skillful manner. The work belongs to the epic genre, it is a novel based on true facts, comprising descriptive details essential for an expressive illustration of the actions. The narrative sequence contributes essentially to the proper presentation of the events. For this purpose, the author uses tenses like Past Simple, Past Perfect, and Past Continuous. The Present Simple is employed for direct quotation of the characters’ speech; with the intention of intensifying the suspense and to challenge the reader to appreciate the characters by means of evaluating the indirect characterization. Similarly, the use of an overt, limited narrator and some monologue sequences let the reader penetrate into the described environment and ensure a better understanding of the subject. In other words, the strength of the first-person narrator (Scout) is the direct display of the personal attitude and the striking comments on the subject. From the point of view of the narrative codes, the social aspect of the work is the most evident, as the author focuses on the social injustice and discrimination-a theme of constant interest. The novel may be regarded as a documentary which reproduces real events, and has the role of involving the reader in a vital issue- the racial discrimination and the unfairness of the justice system. More important, the dialogue is perhaps the most efficient way to show the characters’ interrelations, their moral values and social class; and to give an additional insight of the theme. 1
It is worth being mentioned that the extract is a straight line narrative, presenting the events in a chronological order, and including various flashbacks while referring to past events. The fixed focalization allows the reader to see the events through the narrator’s perspective, and judge the facts accordingly. As a result, one may consider the point of view as being objective, since it is a child who describes them. Taking into account that we’re dealing only with an extract from a whole novel, it stands to reason that there is no prologue. The first sentence, however, provides some hints on the setting of the story (a court room) and on the circumstances (Atticus was half-way through his speech to the jury). The conflict may be rather deduced than identified, as it starts earlier than the process itself. It is an external conflict between the prosecutors (Mayella Ewell, her father, the whole”white” society) and the defender with his supporters (Atticus Finch, his children, the Negroes). The two opposing forces are presented in contrast and, during the development of the actions, the main arguments of the both sides are being specified by Atticus Finch. The lawyer uses argumentation to prove the innocence of the defendant. The numerous stylistic devices make the speech very convincing. Some of the examples are the epithets referring to the moral system broken by...
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