Literary Devices In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Literary devices can be mildly, or majorly, confusing, depending on personal reading level or the way they are taught, which can make all the difference. Thankfully, there are many books that can aid in understanding the pesky literary terms. Like How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster, for example. Each chapter of the book focuses on a literary device or technique that may have multiple meanings depending on the context. Therefore, this book can help readers understand more confusing pieces of literature with underlying messages such as To Kill a Mockingbird. Particularly, Foster can help readers dissect more difficult parts of the novel by Lee including violence and death, symbols, and ironies.
Violence and death are limited in To Kill a Mockingbird, as there is really only one case. The case of Tom Robbinson and his trial for raping Mayella Ewell, which is none the less a bit confusing. When Bob and Mayella Ewell both come to the stand, they insist that Mayella was choked and beat on the right ride of her face, indicating someone primarily left handed would have done the crime. At first glance, a reader may wonder why that matters, but in chapter eleven of HTRLLAP, "More Than It's Gonna Hurt You: Concerning Violence," Foster points out that while violence is literal, there "is usually also something else" (Foster 95). Later in TKAM readers realize there is something else; Tom Robbinson has a maimed left arm, which as Scout explains, she could see

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