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The irony and sarcasm in harper lees to kill a mockingbird

It is both one of the most widely read novels of the last century, winning the Pulitzer in the year of its publication. Johnson 14 This is the only novel by Harper Lee, and she usually refrained from talking about her work apart from some rare interviews. The work, according to many has deep autobiographical elements inspired from real life settings and incidents. The novel addresses the issue of racism in the Far South, and is considered to be a strong statement against racism.

How fast would you like to get it? We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails. On a purely moral front, Atticus Finch has become a sort of role model for a generation: Some ethnocritics have criticized the book for its use of specific language and terms that, in an inverted way, actually re-establishes racism in a subtle way.

The book, despite dealing with these rather serious issues, is garbed in a diction that is replete with irony and humor, making the book a unique contribution to the American literary canon. Although Lee has insistently denied any direct autobiographical inspiration behind the characters of her novel, yet parallels have been drawn and strains of autobiography have been revealed by critics and friends over the years.

Although he was not as radical and avowed reformist as Finch in the novel, yet he did fight for African American causes. Amasa Lee once defended two black men who were accused of murder. The trial left such a lasting impression in him that he never fought a case after the convicts were accused, hanged and mutilated.

Amasa Lee grew more liberal with growing years on the question of racial equality and often voiced his opinions in the Monroeville newspaper, which he edited and to which he regularly contributed. Maycomb, the fictional Southern town where Lee sets her novel bears close resemblance to her hometown, Monroeville.

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

Goria 76 The racial question was very much central to the society of her native Monroeville, even after segregation was officially denounced. Parallels have also been drawn between the central character of Scout And Harper Lee herself, who according to Marianne M. Moates… We find more references to her actual life from the writings of Truman Capote, who lived long at Monroeville, and was close to Lee.

One of the biggest controversies were woven round the character of Tom Robinson. Various attempts have been made to locate his identity, and the character can have its origins in the local history of Monroeville. A white woman accused Walter Lee, a black man for raping her: Matthew A3 Although the charges were found to be false, the convict died of tuberculosis in jail.

The incidents may also be passively influenced by the scandal surrounding the notorious Scottsboro Boys.

Johnson 11 Emmett Till, one of the biggest immediate reasons behind the outbreak of the Civil Rights movement was also probably one of the immediate inspirations behind the character.

The first part of the book is almost completely devoted towards analyzing the life of the children in the Southern town. The fascination of the children towards their neighbor Boo Ridley, who was a secretive and even a shadowy character lurking like an unidentified presence in their vicinity, pervades the first part of the novel. The importance given to Boo Ridley and his shadowy presence, as well as the detailing of his house, has encouraged some critics to categorize the novel as a Gothic fiction, complicating the question of generic categorization that the novel has always attracted.

It has been often observed that it is not the characters who lead the novel in the first half, but the spirit of the American South. The Deep South comes across like a being with almost a palpable presence, guiding characters into acting in the way they do.

However, this exotic charm of the first the irony and sarcasm in harper lees to kill a mockingbird of the novel lead to a deeper and more grave race question in the second part of the novel. Today, around fifty years after its publication, the novel is seen to be ostensibly a work on racial injustice. To complicate the issue, the novel is set at a time of socio-economic transition of the South, when new relationships were being worked out among antagonistic factions of the society.

The constant use of prototypes is noteworthy in the novel. The blacks are almost dehumanized by the whites and are presented more as types than as individuals. Siegel 133 When Atticus Finch stands up to fight for Tom Robinson, a sequence of events happen that bring this racial anxiety and even fear to the fore. It is not just the accuser in microcosm, and the white prejudices in macrocosm that he is fighting against, he is fighting against a stereotype: What makes To Kill a Mockingbird particularly rich, is the way the racial question is intrinsically connected to questions of class and gender.

It cannot be denied that the concerns shared by the two were quite similar. Blackwell The easily distinguishable tone of satire and irony is another common ground between the two. Individuals from all across the class spectrum are brought into play in the novel.

The fact that she places the first person narrator in the middle class position, helps her cause as it allows her to look at society from both above and below.

The irony and sarcasm in harper lees to kill a mockingbird

Characters like Calpurnia, the black cook of the Finch household; Walter Cunningham and Aunt Alexandra display various class attitudes that were prevalent in the Southern society at the time of the Great Depression and immediately after it.

Similarly, the novel betrays gender concerns at great depth. The strong willed Calpurnia and Miss Maudie, as well as Mayella Ewell provide examples of female independence of spirit working within a largely patriarchal setting. Scout also challenges gender stereotypes in her ways of dressing, actions and her commitment towards here faith in human equality. Dean Shackleford elucidates the problem of this gender question in the following terms: This is highly responsible for the society to go astray and builds up the traditional patriarchal society with the complete absence of the mothers.

Finch has transcended from being a major character in a novel to become almost a symbol of moral strength in legal circuit. Atticus Finch has transcended spatio-temporal boundaries to be counted as a role model in the legal profession in particular, and humanity at large.

However, Atticus is firmly rooted in his time. Despite being a champion of equal rights and harvesting a strong dissent against the racial prototypes those were prevalent in his time, Atticus works from within the legal circuit to fight the evils. First, it foregrounds order as it shows a noble attempt to address deep rooted racist questions from within the institutionalized system of law. On the other hand, this very approach has drawn criticismbecause critics state that despite his radical view towards racism, Finch works from well within the sexist and the racial institutions that were operative during that time.

Symbolism in — To Kill a Mockingbird The very title, To Kill a Mockingbird itself has lots of symbolic connotation, which is used in the building up of the plot. The destruction of the innocence by the evil forces and social vices represents the idea mentioned in the title of the novel.

The mocking bird is symbolic of the innocence and thus, to kill a mocking bird corresponds to the death of the innocence. It is probably for this reason that a child narrator is used who looks at the social vices of the time. Robinson with the development of the plot. These characters are identified as the mocking birds, which lose their innocence with time. Mockingbird, the symbol of innocence, first appears in the novel when Atticus presents the air rifles of the children for shooting.

To kill a mocking bird simply means the death of the harmless and the innocence. To make any moral statement, Lee is seen to refer back time and again to the symbol of mockingbird, which represents kindness, peace and innocence. Again the killing of the innocence and the childhood harshly is developed through the progress of To Kill a mockingbird. The transition of the childlike innocence to the adult perspective is brought out very deftly with the changing attitude of the children toward Boo Radley.

The innocent Boo in the beginning of the novel grows up to a developed and fully human towards the end of the novel. Boo is the most significant symbol, which represents the guiltless mockingbirds and the existence of the good within the evil within the heart of the human beings.

In spite of the sufferings of Boo, he still listens to his heart while intermingling with the children. He is the ultimate symbol of good that still lingers amidst the vices in of grown up world. Through the various symbols and imageries introduced in the novel, Lee brings out the ethical character of the human beings.

The good and evil are juxtaposed and at the same time is balanced properly. To deal with the different themes of the novel, symbolization plays a great role and makes To Kill a Mockingbird a great success.

Narrative Style of — To Kill a Mockingbird The storytelling method, which was adopted by Lee, elevates this novel to a superior work. The gifted art of storytelling makes Harper Lee one of the most prominent authors of her age.

The visual form of art the irony and sarcasm in harper lees to kill a mockingbird the subtlety with which she handles her characters and plot binds her work as a complete whole. She uses a child narrator and a grown up woman to see things from different points of view. The proper blending of the adult world and the world of the innocence accounts for the huge popularity of To Kill a Mockingbird. The novel traces the recession of both the world which are wrapped in hidden motivations.

The choice of vocabulary the irony and sarcasm in harper lees to kill a mockingbird the language creates a world, which is very own of Lee. Lee very dexterously blends humor within the tragic plot of the novel. This is supported by the view of the eminent scholar named Jacqueline Tavernier-Courbin, who says: The irony, parody and satire in To Kill a Mockingbird are used by Lee to deal with the complex issues within the novel. The usage of the narration by the child builds up the complexities.

Scouts way of attracting Dill towards her by asking him to beat her up really gives way to the complex issues in the novel. Irony, the major weapon of Lee in dealing with the theme of class, gender and racism puts her to among the superior class of writers.

In choosing the very title To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee carefully introduces irony and satire. She points finger at the educational system, justice structure and societal pattern of her time but at the same time adds humor while dealing with it.

She carefully handles the social vices with the proper use of satire, irony and humor. To Kill a Mockingbird: A Bridge of Childhood: An Interview with Truman Capote. Novel Still Stirs Pride, Debate: Black American Literature Forum 10: University of Tennessee Press, 2007. The Journal of Southern Cultures 50: Get Help From Professional Writer 9.