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Presentation of Lynch Mob: To Kill a Mockingbird

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    Harper Lee uses a range of techniques to present the mob in a bad, and in cases a mocking light. When first coming on to scene, the mob is presented as one shadowy figure, but when actually inspected closely upon, it is seen that that is not the truth at all.

    When first shown, the lynch mob is anonymous, firstly shown when they arrive “shadows became substances as light revealed solid shapes moving towards the Jail door” using metaphors to describe the mob members as “shadows [becoming] absences” gives of a atmosphere of tension and also scared the reader of the unknown. This is more exemplified by not only giving the speak a “deep voice” but also gives said voice a “shadow’ of an owner, which gains gives of the atmosphere of a scary, hostile location. Harper Lee does not only show the mob to be scary by describing them through looks.

    She also describes them through their action and other ways. One of them is by showing them as “dark smelly bodies” and to smell of “stale whisky’. This suggests that not only have they been drinking, but they do not cake much care in their hygiene, and therefore through further analysis suggest them to be of the lower intelligence. When the mob first arrives, Tactics “folded [his newspaper] deliberately, dropped it in his lap, and pushed his hat to the back of his head” this shows that he was expecting tine lynch mob to arrive.

    Not only was he expecting them to come, he was expecting them to deal some damage to Tom Robinson, but he was weary that they would hurt him and others around him. This is shown by Tactics’ hands. Harper Lee shows that they “were trembling a little” this shows that although he isn’t trying to show, it can e seen. His caring nature is also seen when he starts to argue with Gem about going home. “Please Gem, take them home” the fact that Tactics has to reason with a child shows that he is desperate to get them out of the initial danger the ‘mob’ shows towards them.

    Even when he is faced with the vicious threat of the mob in front of him, he is still nice. “Don’t kick folks” this shows that he still considers the others around, even when faced with death. Scouts innocence drives away the mob, it seems that the mob (Mr. Cunningham directly) is anxious when she starts to converse with them, when first talking to Mr. Cunningham, he blanked her, knowing what he is doing is wrong. “the man did not hear me, it seemed. The fact that Mr. Cunningham – who is usually a kind, well mannered person, is in a mob is bizarre, and by Scout talking to Mr. Cunningham about his child reminds him that he is not a cold blooded killer, but a nice average family man who is in the wrong place. This is also supported by the fact that when, Presentation of Lynch Mob: To Kill a Mockingbird By Joe_Wightman after many tries to get his attention, he is moved “to a faint nod” which shows that he as been heartened by the innocence of the young girl, and so forth tells the mob that they should leave – again showing that they do not belong here.

    The mob is displayed as a farce throughout the scene, this is shown through what they do and do not do. It is first seen when they arrive and how they talk to Tactics “He in there. Mr. Finch” when they call Tactics “Mr. Finch” it is normally out of respect when you do so, a real ‘mob’ member who is here to lynch someone would not have the decency to acknowledge someone as “Mr.”. It is again seen when Tactics politely asks them to quieted down as Tom is asleep, they do as he says and “[talk] in near whispers”.

    Another example to be shown is what they wear, they are all described to be wearing “Overalls and denim shirts buttoned up to the collars” and some where wearing “hats pulled firmly down over their ears” there are two things suggested from this, one is that they have never done something like this before, this is because they are wearing work clothes to a lynching, it shows that they don’t know what they are doing and don’t really who w a big threat to anyone.

    The second thing is the fact hat they have pulled hats over their ears, this suggests that some of them don’t really want to be here, they are embarrassed of what they are doing, which again supports the fact that they are not really a lynch mob. The final fact is that they get ashamed by the innocence of a girl, even when spoken to, Mr. Cunningham “seemed uncomfortable”. This again shows that when they are seen as a group of shadows that have deep voices and are “burly’ they are scary, but when Scout unknowingly splits them up into individuals, it is clear that none of them want to be there and are ashamed of what they are doing.

    Presentation of Lynch Mob: To Kill a Mockingbird. (2017, Jul 20). Retrieved from

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