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How language contributes to theme
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Harper Lee uses a variety of language styles to establish the distinct characteristics of the characters she creates. The many forms of diction and dialect used throughout the novel To Kill a Mockingbird help accentuate the realism of the characters to the reader. The story takes place in a small town in Maycomb county, Alabama, so it's not surprising that siblings, Scout and Jem, and their friend Dill all talk with a southern accent. In a conversation between the three of them in Chapter 1, the southern dialect is quite evident. Jem, who is meeting Dill for the first time...
uses very specific words. He holds a very high place in society with the occupation of a Judge. The reader can sense this when hearing the way he speaks. One would guess that he would have a lot of money, and be looked up to. The reader can make many assumptions of a character just by listening to the way he or she talks.

Dialect and diction help the reader grasp the personalities and traits of the characters. Harper Lee's language usage not only makes the characters come alive, but it makes the characters appear real, and especially believable.

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