• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Despite its Serious Themes, "To Kill a Mockingbird" Contains Much Humour. Give an Account of the Various Types of Humour and Suggest Why Harper Lee Used Them.

Extracts from this document...


Despite its Serious Themes, "To Kill a Mockingbird" Contains Much Humour. Give an Account of the Various Types of Humour and Suggest Why Harper Lee Used Them. "To Kill a Mockingbird" has many humorous moments, which have been put there deliberately by the author. One type of humour used is recognition; when something happens which is perfectly in keeping with what we would expect. An excellent example of this is when Scout "splits her knuckle to the bone" on Francis' front teeth, after he insults Atticus. We already are familiar with her as prone to having fights, so this is humorous. I think Harper Lee uses this type of humour to build up our familiarity with the characters, and to make us realise our understanding of them. ...read more.


Satire is also used frequently in the book. Satire is criticising humorously, for example when Atticus asks Aunt Alexandra if she would say "the Finches have an Incestuous streak". This is humorous because Atticus points out how she is ignoring the flaws in her own family, and shows how over-critical of the other families she is being, since our opinion of the Finches is not really changed by what Atticus points out. It is also humorous because Aunt Alexandra does not understand what he says. I think Harper Lee uses this humour to point out how you cannot judge a person by their family history. ...read more.


I think one reason for the use of humour in this book is to make it more interesting to read; at some points the reader's interest would be lost if there wasn't any humour. Another reason is that humour is needed to release tension at certain points, such as when Scout is talking to Mr Cunningham outside of the jail. She says unintentionally funny things, such as "I beat him up once, but he was real nice about it". This is the only funny aspect of an essentially tense situation, and so the humour releases the tension that the chapter has built up. In conclusion, humour is used primarily to release tension, make the book more interesting, and increase familiarity with characters. ?? ?? ?? ?? Chris Turner ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Harper Lee section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Harper Lee essays

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Critical Evaluation.

    clear dislike of imposing the conventional stereotypes on girls from an early age. She shows that by insisting girls act a certain way, they are restricted in the way they develop, act and think. Conversely, as Scout grows and learns through the novel, she begins to conform to a more

  2. How does Harper Lee use humour in To Kill A Mockingbird?

    This is a childish doing, which makes it amusing. In chapter nine of the book it is Christmas and Aunt Alexandra and Jack her husband come round to the Finch's house. Scout starts to swear in this chapter and there is humour in it.

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    church, an all-black congregation. Calpurnia takes special pains to make sure they are cleanly-scrubbed and as perfectly dressed as possible on Sunday. At the church, a black woman named Lula tries to tell Calpurnia that white children don't belong at the church.

  2. To Kill a Mockingbird Notes - Characters, Themes & Quotes

    * By making Scout inquistive Lee encourages the reader to question their own thoughts and feelings. * Lee satirises classroom learning with the help of Miss Caroline. * Unusual fire and snowfall creates a sense of foreboding at the end of Part One.

  1. To Kill A Mocking Bird : Harper Lee - A chapter analysis.

    Aunt Alexandra, Atticus's sister, lives on Finch Landing with her husband, Jimmy, and her grandson, Francis, the son of Alexandra's only son. Scout dislikes Aunt Alexandra because Alexandra scolds her and disapproves of her unladylike qualities. Cold and aloof, Alexandra does not know how to handle girls, especially headstrong ones like Scout.

  2. To Kill a Mockingbird (Chapter summaries).

    rang for Atticus and then she told everyone to stay inside and she even went up to the Radley place to warn them not to come out. When Atticus arrives with Heck Tate, the sheriff, they concluded that the dog was definitely mad and that he would have to be killed.

  1. What view does Harper Lee give us of the lives and difficulties of the ...

    For generations black people had to treat white people as a higher class than themselves and so Lula had every right to be annoyed at Calpurnia. 'I wants to know why you bringin' white chillun to nigger church.' However the children are never tormented in the presence of the blacks

  2. How does Harper Lee explore the themes of empathy and tolerance in Chapter 3 ...

    themselves, where they are not treated the same as others, which further emphasizes the remarkable attitude of Calpurnia to teach Scout values that she does not often receive from others. It also emphasizes the firm discipline and morals that Calpurnia employs on Scout, portraying her as more than just a

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work