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To kill a mockingbird

By IrinkaIrinka Jan 08, 2014 676 Words
Text Analysis To Kill a Mockingbird
The title of the extract I am going to analyze is entitled «To Kill a Mockingbird» written by Harper Lee. The novel was published in 1960.The book is mainly based on the author’s recollections of her own childhood. This book is a magnificent, powerful novel in which the author paints a true and lively picture of a quiet Southern town in Alabama rocked by a young girl's accusation of criminal assault. The plot runs as follows. Mayella Ewell was old Bob Swell's daughter. She was white, and she tempted a Negro. She did something that in the society is unspeakable: she kissed a black man. Her father saw it. There was circumstantial evidence to indicate that Mayella Ewell was beaten savagely by someone who led almost exclusively with his left. Mr Ewell did what any God-fearing, persevering, respectable white man would do under the circumstances — he swore out a warrant, no doubt signing it with his left hand, and Tom Robinson was sitting before the juries and charged with raping a white girl, having taken the oath with the only good hand he possesses — his right hand. A jury never looks at a defendant it has convicted, and when this jury came in, not one of them looked at Tom Robinson. The foreman handed a piece of paper to Mr Tate who handed it to the clerk who handed it to the judge. ... Judge Taylor was polling the jury: "Guilty ... guilty ... guilty ... The author selects a third-person narrative. The omniscient author moves in and out of peoples thoughts and comments freely on what the characters think, say and do. The whole structure of the novel serves to make the author’s message clear. The extract contains exposition, complication and denouement. Exposition can be found in the beginning of the story. It gives us information about the occasion(incident) that caused legal proceedings. Exposition is in the middle of the text, where we came to know who were participating in that situation, Mayella Ewell and her father, who were guilt. Denouement is shown at the end of the text, where the author gives a description of moment of reaching a verdict. The beginning and the end of the story present an oratory which is expressed in the speech of the lawyer Atticus Fintch. It is produce a constant and deep influence on the reader. It is expressed through special techniques such as ready made phrases and cliches(I shall be brief, the year of grace), different repetitions which make the meaning clear, lay greater emphasis on the statements e.g. "...some people are smarter that others, some people have more opportunity..., some men make more money than others, some ladies make better cakes than others—..."; "...on the assumption that all Negroes lie, that all Negroes are basically immoral”. The body of the text presents mostly a description. It is static, It gives few but striking details. It is a verbal portraiture of a scene in the court which provides us with a chain of events that took place there. The author uses numerous stylistic expressive means in Atticus’s speech and narrator. The author uses numerous stylistic expressive means in the extract to attract the reader, to make his statements clear, to make his point plain or to show how vital the ideas according to the degree of their importance or emphasis are arranged.( the most important, from his point of view, coming last.) he uses long composite sentences with a number of attributive and co-ordinate clauses joined by means of the conjunctions, repetitions, epithets(E.g. "a rigid and time-honored code, a code so severe..!', "the cynical confidence", "the evil assumption", "Atticus's lonely walk", "Judge Taylor's voice... was tiny", similies e.g. "This case is as simple as black and white"; "I saw the jury return, moving like underwater swimmers"; "...and it was like watching Atticus walk into the street, raise a rifle to his shoulder and pull the trigger..."

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