Site Loader

Have you ever heard the common tongue twister: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers? This is an example of alliteration.

In this lesson, we will look at how alliteration is used in Harper Lee’s famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird.

Best services for writing your paper according to Trustpilot

Premium Partner
From $18.00 per page
4,8 / 5
Writers Experience
Recommended Service
From $13.90 per page
4,6 / 5
Writers Experience
From $20.00 per page
4,5 / 5
Writers Experience
* All Partners were chosen among 50+ writing services by our Customer Satisfaction Team
Alliteration Example.
Alliteration Example


So why is Peter Piper an example of alliteration? Alliteration is the repetition of consonant, not vowel, sounds at the beginning of words.

In the Peter Piper example, the letter ”p” is repeated, making it alliterative. ”Everyone eats eggplant” is not alliterative because it repeats vowels.Not every letter of a sentence has to start with the same consonant to be an alliteration, but it does need to be between every few words. For example, ”Joshua crawled joyously toward his jumping toy,” is still alliteration.

Alliteration can also have multiple letters repeated; for example, ”Francis fainted, and thankfully the teacher took action,” repeats the letters ”f” and ”t.”Alliteration is often used in poetry, but can also be used in prose. Its main purpose is to grab a reader’s attention. This is why many newspaper and magazine headlines use alliteration; they know they only have a few seconds to snag a reader’s attention and this causes the passerby to stop and take notice.

Alliteration can be used in novels as well. In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, a novel set in the Great Depression of the 1930s, the author uses alliteration specifically when the narrator is describing a family or a place. In this novel, place–whether it be physical or societal–and family are extremely important. Since readers tend to take notice when letters repeat, the author uses alliteration when she needs the reader to pay closer attention to what is being described.

Part One

In the beginning of Chapter 1, Scout Finch, one of the main characters and the narrator of the book, describes her family background.

She states: ”Being Southerners, it was a source of shame to some members of the family that we had no recorded ancestors on either side of the Battle of Hastings.” The repetition used here helps the reader take note and remember these aspects about the Finch family.Later in the chapter, Scout provides background about her town. In her description, she states: ”In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square. Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer’s day; bony mules.

..flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square.

..Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.” In this excerpt, multiple alliterations are used. Since the entire novel takes place in this town, it is especially important for the reader to remember these aspects.

In Chapter 9, alliteration can be seen when Scout is describing her father Atticus’ childhood home. Scout describes that close to the house ”a two-rut road ran from the riverside and vanished among the dark trees.” She also describes: ”A widow’s walk was on the roof, but no widows walked there….

” This place is significant to the Finch family because being raised here helped place them in the upper levels of society, so again, the author needs the reader to take note.

Part Two

In Part Two, Scout goes to church with her family’s black housekeeper Calpurnia. This trip introduces Scout to a social group that is starkly different from her own. In describing the church, Scout says: ”The churchyard was brick-hard clay, as was the cemetery beside it. If someone died during a dry spell, the body was covered with chunks of ice until rain softened the earth.” She continues describing the inside of the church: ”Along its walls unlighted kerosene lamps hung on brass brackets; pine benches served as pews.” Alliteration is useful in this description, because it helps the reader slow down and take notice of the stark difference between Scout’s white society and the black one she is now experiencing.

The rest of Part Two centers around the trial of a black man named Tom Robinson. At this trial, Scout is introduced to one of the poorest white families in town–the Ewell’s. Before Bob Ewell takes the stand, the author describes his home and surroundings. ”Maycomb’s Ewell’s lived behind the town garbage dump.

… The cabin’s plank walls were supplemented with sheets of corrugated iron, its roof shingled with tin cans hammered flat, so only its general shape suggested its original design: square, with four tiny rooms opening onto a shotgun hall, the cabin rested uneasily upon four irregular lumps of limestone.

” Knowing the Ewell’s living situation is critically important to the novel and, again, the author needs the reader to notice.

Atticus and Tom Robinson in Courtroom Scene.
To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel,
  • To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel
  • Harper father of Scout and Jem, and
  • Few of Atticus’ wife, Calpurnia became a
  • The interesting tale to tell. But it’s
  • There and unpleasant sound. Just like the
  • Alliteration tone, or even making the reader
  • Yazel Though, it seems, to reach Jefferson’s ideal
  • Impact other university. Sign Date Abdilatif HusseinReg
  • Post Author: admin


    I'm Eric!

    Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

    Check it out