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Harper Lee's to Kill a Mockingbird

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In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout Finch and her family are put into conflict when Atticus, her father, chooses to defend Tom Robinson against Bob Ewell in court. This leads to the family becoming alienated by the townspeople and later attacked by Ewell himself. Two literary devices that support my interpretation of the critical lens are foreshadowing and symbolism. In To Kill a Mockingbird, foreshadowing plays an important role in the story. There are many events in the book that foretell future events in the book, such as when Bob Ewell goes after Judge Taylor, foreshadowing the attack on Atticus's children, showing the risks that Atticus put himself in by doing the right thing. Another literary device that supports my interpretation of the critical lens is symbolism because in this work the mockingbird symbolizes Boo Radley. Boo Radley is a man who was alienated by the town, including Jem and Scout, because he acted very mysteriously and preferred to stay indoors. Despite all of the bad things said about him, Boo Radley chose to go out of his way to protect Jem and Scout when Bob Ewell attacked them. Boo Radley put himself at great risk in doing so, as Bob Ewell was armed with a knife, but he put these dangers aside simply for the sake of others. Although he may not have been very physically strong, Boo Radley showed more strength in willpower than anyone in Maycomb that day.

In Kathryn Stockett's The Help, Skeeter Phelan is met with the option of conforming to the prejudiced laws of Mississippi, or to break the law to do the right thing by shedding light on the injustices there. She chooses to help the colored maids in Jackson and is shunned by her friends and her love interest Stuart later on in the story. Two literary devices that support my interpretation of the critical lens are point of view and irony. In The Help, irony plays an important role in the story because the main antagonist of The Help, Hilly Holbrook, is extremely prejudiced against African Americans in her own community, but she helps with the Benefit to provide aid to starving children in Africa, whom most of which are colored as well. This shows that Hilly is racist only to support her own goals and is a hypocrite unlike Skeeter Phelan who hurts her own reputation to fight against racism.

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