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

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Essay Question

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In what ways is Harper Lee able to describe an outrageous incident in a humorous way? Why does she do it? Harper Lee's style in 'Two Kill a Mockingbird,' is such that she uses a variety of methods to convey certain emotions, reveal aspects of a character's personality, or to heighten or ease drama. A recurring technique that Harper Lee uses to create humour is that of perspective, childhood unawareness and the assumptions that Scout and the people surrounding her so casually make. As the entire novel is written from the eyes of a very young girl, her biased, stunted opinions, limited experience and juvenile convictions cause a great deal of amusement. An instance of this (in the second chapter) ...read more.

Middle

This scene, which would be shocking by today's standards as it gives on insight into the weaknesses of the education system (as told from the author's view point). However, Harper Lee makes the scene amusing by using the device of understatement. She states the events in a light casual manner and emphasizes it with a lack of emphasis. The sheer absurdity of a teacher telling a child not to read coupled with the way it is narrated combines to create humour. Miss Caroline's lack of experience is further used for amusement when she calls on Walter Cunningham to take her loan. Walter Cunningham's character is a proud one. Although he is relatively poor, he still has a sense of self-dignity. So even though the offer is tempting when he is offered a quarter by Miss Caroline to buy lunch, he politely refuses. ...read more.

Conclusion

Furthermore, she uses humour to not only subtly mock the school system but also the firmly enshrined beliefs of those times. This is almost solely through the blunders of Miss Caroline. Harper Lee also uses it to show a character's mindset or personality. Such is the case with Scout who automatically presumes Miss Caroline knows of the Cunninghams' ways or with Miss Cunningham assuming that every child should not be able to read or write. In summation, Harper Lee's means of creating humour are wide ranging though she relies on the fact that Scout is a six-year old girl with a narrow outlook. As for her reasons, though humour is obviously used to create just that; humour. It is also used as an instrument to control the flow of the book and to make more obvious or disguise its various nuances. ...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 Full Summary

    They see one of the mixed children and Scout thinks he looks black. She asks Jem how to determine whether someone is "mixed" or not and Jem says that you can't tell by looking, you have to know their history.

  2. English essay on 'To Kill a Mockingbird'.

    It was about February and Jem spotted old Tim Johnson (a dog), coming towards them in a mad and strange way. What they never knew about is their father was once nicknamed "old' one-shot", this being because he had the god given talent of being a good marksman.

  1. To kill a mocking bird - Chapter 14 Summary onwards.

    against the word of the white people, and that the Ewells' case depends upon the jury's assumption that "all black men lie." Atticus reminds everyone that there are honest and dishonest black people just as there are honest and dishonest white people.

  2. How effectively does Harper Lee convey her ideas about prejudice in her novel To ...

    The description of Maycomb is detrimental to the readers' first impressions. Now, as a reader, this can show a fixed state of living, and enable the readers' emotions to be sympathetic towards the inhabitants, or have a preconceived negative opinion about Maycomb during the novel.

  1. In the Style of Harper Lee, write a section of 'To Kill A Mockingbird'

    'Nothin' much... I got new shoes!' 'Yeah, we noticed. Those damn clown shoes make you look plain stupid Dill!' 'My daddy says they make me look like a man!' Without us having noticed, Calpurnia's head popped out of our window. 'Mr. Jeremy Finch, how dare you talk to Mr.

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

    The chapter ends with Scout and her class filing out to lunch at the sound of the noon bell. Chapter 3: Terribly upset by the poor impression she made on Miss Caroline, Scout grabs Walter Cunningham and starts a fight.

  1. How are Prejudice and Hypocrisy explored in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird? Notes ...

    * ?They got their church, we got ours? Lula. * Attitudes to Atticus in the black community, regard him as bright, smart, capable and reliable. * Atticus is recognised as a good person and is re-elected. * Aunt Alexandra. * The cakes, Calpurnia?s cooking. * Cunninghams ?Streak? * Inferior history.

  2. To Kill A Mockingbird - How does Harper Lee create mood and atmosphere in ...

    In contrast to the mood of tension, however, just before the trial begins, the mood is jocund and bright ? it is described as a ?holiday mood?, and a ?gala occasion?. The line, ?wagons were parked under every available tree?, portrays the ?popularity? of the trial.

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