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What was the insight gained or effect created by the use of the allusion Dracula in To Kill a Mockingbirdby Harper Lee? Why did Harper Lee choose to use... |

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The film version of Dracula had just been released in 1931 when Dill bragged about having seen it to Jem and Scout in the opening chapter of Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird. It made an immediate impression on the Finch siblings. Sound motion pictures were still relatively new, and Maycomb had no theatre, so Dill was truly a special case to Jem and Scout, neither of whom had probably ever seen a real movie before.

     "Don't have any picture shows here, except Jesus ones at the courthouse sometimes," said Jem. 

Dill's review of Dracula exhibited his storytelling skills admirably, since Jem claimed the "show sounded better than the book."

No doubt Harper Lee alluded to Dracula because of its recent popularity (since the novel was set in the early 1930s), but also because of Jem and Scout's undying curiosity about Boo Radley, who was said to enjoy the blood of small animals occasionally. Comparisons between Boo and the Count were inevitable, and Dracula was a sure-fire story to further fire the kids' interest in Boo.

 

 

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