To Kill a Mockingbird

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“Then Miss Gates said... ‘We are democracy... Over here we don’t believe in persecuting anybody. Persecution comes from people who are prejudice’... ‘How can you hate Hitler so bad an’ then turn around & be ugly about folks right at home’” (Lee 330). Using the typical irony, Lee compares hypocritical Miss Gates’ hate for Hitler to her prejudiced hate for African-Americans. Standard irony, however, is not the only type of irony Harper Lee places in her award-winning novel. Through dramatic irony, situational irony, & verbal irony, Harper Lee utilizes this literary device in its finest form in To Kill a Mockingbird. As the first type of this contradicting literary device, Lee uses dramatic irony throughout the story; it plays a part in both the historical references to Bow Ewell’s name and the foreshadowing at the beginning of the book. The most hated family in Maycomb, the Ewells crave recognition & power. However, Bob Ewell, head of the Ewell family, claims the title as the most vile of them all. “‘... Robert E. Lee Ewell!’” (Lee 227). Lee names Bob Ewell after General Robert E. Lee, comparing Bob & Robert’s violent nature, racist beliefs, & imminent failure. The reader realizes upon learning Bob Ewell’s full name that he will not achieve much in the novel, considering his real life counterpart. However, Bob Ewell does achieve a limelight spot in the climax. “When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow... I maintain that the Ewells started it... but Jem said... it began the summer Dill came to us” (Lee 1). Given the climax & the ones liable for it at the beginning of the book, the reader now knows which direction the story shall take. The climax appears to occur when Jem breaks his arm & th... ... middle of paper ... ...o conserve money since he ended up poor. While she loved Atticus, Scout certainly did not like Miss Caroline. “I never deliberately learned how to read, but somehow I had been wallowing illicitly in the daily papers” (Lee 23). Without a doubt, Scout does not actually believe she acted wrongly by reading the newspapers. Ironically, proud Scout agrees with Miss Caroline, inwardly scoffing at the idea. Using the sarcastic literary device to the very best, Lee enriches To Kill a Mockingbird though dramatic irony, situational irony, & verbal irony. However, as an amazing author, Harper Lee also includes plain, simple irony. “Then Miss Gates said... ‘We are democracy... Over here we don’t believe in persecuting anybody. Persecution comes from people who are prejudice’... ‘How can you hate Hitler so bad an’ then turn around & be ugly about folks right at home’” (Lee 330).

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