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Comment upon the techniques employed by Harper Lee to introduce Maycomb society in the first 4 chapters of the novel Although Maycomb is a fictitious town, Harper Lee creates a realistic

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Introduction

Nikita Mehta 10M Miss. Williams English Essay Comment upon the techniques employed by Harper Lee to introduce Maycomb society in the first 4 chapters of the novel Although Maycomb is a fictitious town, Harper Lee creates a realistic and authentic atmosphere throughout the first four chapters of this novel. This is enhanced by the narrative technique where someone in later life is looking back and reflecting but with the events being seen and told through the eyes of a growing girl. By this means, we are introduced to the setting, the inhabitants who are closely observed and responded too & the situation where the confused child has explanations regarding the adult world around her. Atticus becomes the voice of wisdom for Scout and us, leading to a greater understanding of how we should respond to the world nowadays and the people with their individual circumstances. We see the range of pride and prejudice that are demonstrated by the members of their community, the influence of gossip and the prejudice that felt against those who were different. ...read more.

Middle

Also the fact that Maycombians do not accept 'foreigners,' for example when Miss. Caroline Fisher, Scouts teacher, from North Alabama, arrives at Maycomb with no background, it is clear that she is a na�ve outsider. Harper Lee has an opportunity to acquaint the reader with Maycombs inhabitants. We learn about the background of the Ewell and Cunningham families, and we see how close-knit the Maycomb community is when the children are able to stereotype and make generalisations about particular groups of people that Miss. Fisher cannot understand. The novel is told by a young girl in Maycomb, who is growing up and learning more about Maycomb society. Harper Lee's technique makes us the readers grow up with Scout, Jem and Dill to fill in the details and add realism to the novel. As it is told from a child's viewpoint we get her perspective on other people who live in her county, which is usually exaggerated and has a sense of humour to it which heightens the impact of a child's viewpoint. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is also the first comment between Negroes and Whites. The hypocrisy of Catholicism is also a clever technique (which will become more apparent late on) as Maycombians were either strictly Baptists or Methodists, and the Bible said to understand and forgive your neighbours, yet there was still so much prejudice and the pressures, racism, arrogance, gossips and pride in the southern states which makes us think about their humanity and compassion of the church and their society. The thing that Harper Lee achieves in the opening four chapters is the creation of a small town community in who we can believe, and are told about in an amusing yet very realistic way, as a child would see it. Furthermore, Harper Lee employs the technique of repeating the type of incidents and conversation that occur. Where each time their significance increases, as it does in the book Lord of the Files. This style makes certain issues significant, draws us into the story, but above all suggests the passing of time as the children are growing up. Many teenage readers have grown up with this book, which is almost 50 years old- a reflection of its timeless awareness of real life and real people. ...read more.

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