Literary Criticism In To Kill A Mockingbird And A Separate Peace By Harper Lee

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An informed written analysis and evaluation of a piece of work is known as literary criticism, and it is often based on literary theory. One literary theory technique is intertextual criticism, which allows the reader to acknowledge similarities between literature. Throughout Harper Lee’s fictitious novel To Kill A Mockingbird, and the historical fiction novel A Separate Peace by John Knowles, the authors take advantage of intertextual criticism to identify universal themes and symbols within their work. Both novels display similarities when they incorporate a tree as a symbol of friendship, the child archetype and the loss of innocence.
The tree as a symbol for commanderie is exemplified by both novels. Friendship is symbolized through
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Boo also killed Bob under the same tree he put the gifts in which allowed him to save them since they established a connection through the tree. Another instance is in A Separate Peace because the tree exemplifies friendship because when Finny conveys, ‘“It’s you pal… just you and me’... we were the best of friends at the moment” (Knowles 17-18). The tree exemplifies fellowship because the tree was the reason they developed the Suicide Society, for it brought them closer together. Them jumping off the tree also established and cemented their friendship, for they were the only ones brave enough to endure the feat. The tree was a way for them to develop a friendship because they grew a stronger bond after they established their society, and without the initiation jump from the tree, none of it would have been possible. Clearly, the tree as a symbol of friendship is used by both Harper Lee and John Knowles.
To Kill A Mockingbird and A Separate Peace apply child archetypes within their novels. Boo Radley represents the child archetype because he gave the Finch children “two soap dolls, a broken watch, and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies…” (Lee 321). The action of giving the gifts proves that Boo is a child archetype because he gives trivial gifts and leaves them in the knothole instead of presenting them due to his shy, childish demeanor. Boo is a child archetype because he is naive since he is sheltered from the cruel judgment of the town. He also acts with child mindset

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