Analyzing Language and Grammar

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Language and grammar can greatly affect of even change the entire course of a story. Since everyone has their own way of speaking, the usage of certain words or phrases can help us to understand the personality or choices of a specific character. For example, in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, every single character has a different dialect. By listening to their speech and usage of grammar for only a short period of time, you can tell if that person is well-educated. In addition, you can tell if they are old or young. Even though everyone in the novel speaks a little differently, the most contrasting dialects are those of Bob Ewell, Jean Louise “Scout” Finch. and Calpurnia. To begin with, Bob Ewell, Mayella Ewell’s father, used language such as “…I was sayin’ Mayella was screamin’ fit to beat Jesus” (172) when he was describing the crime that his daughter was a victim of. One can tell by the use of the phrase “fit to beat Jesus” that Bob was raised in a very southern home, because not many people say this. Furthermore, when he was mentioning Tom Robinson, Bob stated, “I sawed who he was… [Mayella] was lyin’ on the floor squallin’ (175). We can tell by Bob Ewell’s use of words such as “sawed” that he is not very well-educated. Also, we can tell by his use of sarcasm that he is very disrespectful and does not care about others. Bob Ewell’s dialect is very helpful in figuring out what kind of person he is, as well as determining if he is a trustworthy witness un
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