Childhood And Metaphors In To Kill Mockingbird By Harper Lee

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Childhood is a special phase in people’s lives as there are few restrictions on a child’s imagination. To express this special time, writers employ metaphors like “magical” or “a garden”, and in the same way, a metaphor may be used to relate certain attributes of a character to objects in the real world. In her novel, To Kill Mockingbird, Harper Lee presents a child named Charles Baker Harris who prefers an appropriate nickname: Dill. This boy, one of the child characters in the book repeatedly demonstrates amazing ideas and games he creates with his extraordinary imagination. The other children, Scout and Jem Finch, are often left in awe of Dill’s ingenious personality. For this reason, if Dill were an object in nature, he would be …show more content…
When a droplet of water splashes, an observer cannot predict in which way it will splash, only that there will be a splash. Similarly, throughout the story, Dill’s comments and ideas are often unforeseen and surprise the reader; specifically, when Dill says, “’I think I’ll be a clown when I get grown…’” (Lee 216). When Jem and Scout heard what Dill said, they had to slow their pace in order to understand why he would make such a comment. Moreover, Dill’s stories and games are not usually simple and straight-forward. For example, when Dill comes up with the crazy idea to try and get Boo Radley to come out, he helps come up with a detailed plan. He also uses his creativity to make up the Boo Radley game, where he and the Finch children act out different scenarios of Boo Radley’s life based on the rumours they have heard. Dill is full of vitality and youthfulness; therefore he uses his imagination in unique ways which makes him very spontaneous. Overall, Dill is a very unpredictable boy who is constantly coming up with new ideas and acting in ways that people would not expect him to. Consequently, similar to a water droplet’s unpredictable splash, Dill’s ideas and comments often surprise those who interact with …show more content…
Using a metaphor to further understand a character can help a reader bring a character to life, as well as to understand aspects of the character that may not be completely evident to the reader. For example, when a person imagines a droplet of water traveling because there is no place to hold it, a person can understand that in a similar way, Dill will try and evade a situation in which he feels uncomfortable or underappreciated, and will not settle until he finds someone to support him. Moreover, if a person imagines a droplet of water splashing, it appears to be sparkling as if it were playing, likewise, Dill comes up with games to play and stories to act out using his vivid imagination. The last example of the similarities between Dill and a droplet of water is that like a water droplet, Dill is unpredictable as his ideas and comments are very different compared to the other characters in the story and will often surprise the characters in the book as well as the reader. Throughout the novel, readers identify Dill by his friendship with Jem and Scout. However, readers who focus too narrowly on the Finch family or the Tom Robinson case, may miss or overlook Dill’s values and behaviours. Dill is a character that uses his imagination not only to have fun, but to help him cope with his problems. Consequently, Dill’s

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