In “To Kill A Mocking Bird”, Harper Lee presents the setting of Maycomb through language, characters and their views and the structure of the novel. Harper Lee uses a variety of techniques to describe the setting of The Radley Place such as imagery, flashbacks told from Scout’s point of view and alliteration. Lee's characterisation makes the house have a gothic feel, and is almost a character in and of itself. Since the Radley house in To Kill a Mockingbird is described as being "droopy and sick" and having a "drunken picket fence," the author implies the house is very run-down, not maintained very well, and has an air of unhealthiness about it. So many rumours have circulated about the Radleys that many people completely avoid walking by the house, and Jem and Scout run by it whenever they have to pass by. The house is considered to be inhabited by a "malevolent phantom" - Boo Radley - who is described in monstrous terms according to the town gossip. This adds to the house's eeriness. Most importanly, there is a large tree in front of the house. This tree is an important symbol in the book because it represents the point of contact between Boo Radley and the children. It is the place he leaves them gifts until his brother Nathan cements over the knot hole. Lee has carefully included al these crumbs for us to eventually follow and connect the dots i.e the tree outside the house. She also uses alliteration, personification and the characters dialogue. This creates a daunting and eery effect. I think Harper Lee presents the Radley Place like this because she wants the reader to understand or emphasise how characters of may comb have different views of the Radley Place. In To Kill A Mockingbird Scout views Maycomb as ‘old and tired’ because in chapter 1 he says “Maycomb was an old town……Maycomb County had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear itself.’ When she says this she describes Maycomb as what she...
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