To Kill A Mockingbird (Short Analysis of Quotes)

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In the first passage, Calpurnia speaks differently to Lula, a black woman who hates white people. Scout, the narrator, is surprised by Calpurnia’s change in tone and choice of words. Lula confronts Calpurnia about bringing white children to a black church, using the word nigger in front of the children. This creates tension and shows that a coloured church is not a place for white people to be. In the second passage, Jem and Scout find gifts in a knothole near the Radley place. Scout becomes uncomfortable and suggests that the knothole may be someone’s hiding place. Jem disagrees, saying that they are the only ones who pass by the tree unless it belongs to a grown person. The hyphen at the end of Jem’s sentence suggests he may have realized that the knothole belongs to Boo Radley, a mysterious figure they have never seen before.

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The passage I am analysing is:

“What you want Lula?” she asked, in tones I had never heard her use. She spoke quietly and contemptuously.

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“I wants to know why you bringin’ white chillum to nigger church”

At the start of the passage, Calpurnia asks Lula (a black Negro woman who despises white people)”what you want Lula?” which is a short sentence which describes the fact that Calpurnia may be scared of Lula. Notice that Scout who is narrating the story has never heard Calpurnia speak like all the other people in the black church. From her point of view this may seem like a dramatic change to the way she sees Caplurnia. Harper Lee tries to show us there is another side to Caplurnia. Calpurnia also uses a different use of words like “What you want”. Lula and most black people tend to use a different choice of words. Harper Lee makes Caplurnia speak like this in the presence of Lula to show that she is still a member of the black community. Since Caplurnia spoke “quietly and contemptuously” shows that she doesn’t want to get into any trouble with Lula.

Lula then asks why Calpurnia is bringing white children to a “nigger church.” (Nigger is a contemptuous term for a black or dark skinned person). Lula isn’t afraid of using a word like “nigger” in front of children. This is a clear indication that shows that Lula is tough and why Calpurnia doesn’t want to mess with her. This gives the reader a worried mood because there is an increase in tension which sets a troubled atmosphere. The word nigger can also be used as a metaphor in this situation. Instead of Lula saying black, she uses the word “nigger”. Harper Lee shows that a coloured church is nowhere for white people to be in. Lula is a perfect example which expresses this fact.

My second analysis will be when Jem and Scout find objects in a knothole of a tree near the Radley place.

“Jem, you reckon that’s somebody’s hidin’ place?”

“Naw, don’t anybody much but us pass by there, unless it’s some grown person’s-“

Since school had begun for Jem and Scout there is nothing exciting going on. Except that Jem and Scout keep on finding gifts left for them in a knothole of a tree. In the past, Jem and Scout have discovered more objects in the knothole but haven’t really thought about who keeps the objects here and why until now. Scout gets a bit uncomfortable with these gifts placed in a knothole. She thinks the knothole may be somebody hiding place for objects. Jem objects because scout and him are the only people he knows who passes by this tree. Jem uses the word “naw” in a slang way which may suggest this is a hyperbole.

Jem says “Unless it’s some grown person’s-“which indicates that this knothole is used by an adult. There is a hyphen at the end of Jems sentence which suggest that he is lost for words. A hyphen in this context may suggest a pause. What Jem has actually realised is that this knothole may belong to Boo Radley (the mysterious figure who Jem and Scout have never seen). This may have been the cause of the pause in the end of Jems sentence.

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To Kill A Mockingbird (Short Analysis of Quotes). (2017, Oct 27). Retrieved from

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