How does Simpson present the mountain as an evil force in the book ‘ To Kill a Mockingbird’

By in Communication on May 20, 2016

Throughout the whole novel Simpson uses language devices like personification, metaphor and semantic fields to present the mountain as if it was an evil force fighting against them. He shows the mountain to be merciless, cold and dangerous which makes the book much more gripping as you feel a greater sense of risk when reading it.

Simpson personifies the mountain using the following quote “It was as if the mountains were holding their breath, waiting for another death”. This makes the mountain seem like a person who is intentionally fighting against them as it is saying that the mountain was consiously waiting for them to die. He also refers to the “mountains” as plural which shows how Simpson is trying to make the mountain seem like a larger force than it is and adding to the idea of the mountain being an evil figure.

He also uses metaphors to create an evil aura aroud the mountain when he says “I was in a malevolent place”. In this quote he says that the mountain is “malevolent” which has evil connotations as someone who is malevolent wishes to do bad to others. This changes the mountain from a danger which has risks and can cause harm to an enemy that is making it his task to hurt the climbers. The word is not usually used to describe an inanimate object as it implies a dark conscience.

Simpson then follows with the following metaphor “a tangible hostility enclosed me” which builds on the mountains evilness by saying it is hostile. The word “hostility” has intentional connotations rather than other words which just show danger. He also says that it “enclosed me” which is a word that inplies that the mountain is trying to trap the climbers. And it also uses the word “tangible” which makes the mountain seem like a much more literal threat rather than something imaginary or simply a mental challenge for them to overcome.



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