The Last Jurorby John Grisham1.
“From day one she was intimidated by me because I was from Memphis and had gone to school up North for five years. I was careful not to wear my Ivy Leagueness on my shoulder, but at the same time I wanted these rural Mississippians to know that I had been superbly educated. (page 10)” There are two literary elements that could be categorized in this excerpt. I think that John Grisham highlights his use of satire very vividly early on in the book. He is placing a reasonable amount of underestimation upon a southerner’s overall intelligence. Simply because he was educated “up North” he feels he is worthy of a higher ranking.
Although the character says he does not want to “wear” his Ivy League education for all to adore, he most certainly wants it known that his education was among the best one could buy. The second literary element is setting. Although it does not give descriptive geographical characteristics, we can get a sense of the Mississippi vibe.
Depending on whether a reader is from the North or the South, some type of connection to their homeland can be made. We have a northerner experiencing, and reminiscing rather keenly, the way in which he first experienced his own dose of southern comfort. The object that I chose to correlate with this particular excerpt was an Ivy League diploma. Although our main character, William Traynor, is geographically located in the south, mentally he still feels connected to the North and the education he received from it. This diploma would be brought with him as a constant reminder of who he is as an individual and the prideful attitude he possesses.2.
“I marveled once again at the backwardness of Mississippi. ‘Still fightin’ the War,’ was a slogan I’d heard several times in Ford County (page 47).”Although there a numerous literary terms that could be applied to this excerpt, followed by extensive reflection on the true backwardness of the state of Mississippi at this time, I would like to focus mainly on the theme represented here. Looking deep into the story many themes regarding the will to succeed, morals, and racism all arise yet an overall theme that can be collected stems all the way back to the Civil War. The major theme that is constantly radiated from the pages of John Grisham’s story is the diversity between the North and the South.
After spending a month in Mississippi this past summer, I began to realize that there were some people who will never cease to believe that the North prevailed over the South in the Civil War. Confederate flags are displayed in large numbers in car windows, on license plates, at the tops of flag poles, and disrespectfully on billboards. Popular t-shirts and hats also support the flag of our nation’s biggest internal conflict. That is how I easily chose my symbol to be none other than the confederate flag itself. While traveling in Memphis I was actually given a confederate flag on Beale Street. There seems to be no shame in the display of this disgraceful flag.
3. “Folks were watching again, so I picked out the smallest piece and put it in my mouth. The texture was rubbery, the taste was acrid and foul.
The smell had a barnyard essence. I chewed as hard as possible, choked it down, then followed with a gulp of moonshine. And for a few seconds I thought I might faint (page 79).
”If one can read this without feeling, smelling, and tasting the “chitlins” described then my literary term of imagery is obviously unsuitable. I remember rereading these lines two or three times and each disgusting recap made my senses more alert. I think John Grisham did an excellent job describing some of the exotic foods one can come across in the South. His description of a rubbery texture made me grind my teeth as if chewing this inedible product was nothing but impossible.
The object I chose to coincide with this excerpt is peppermint gum. After simply reading this I felt that I needed to go brush my teeth. When someone eats something distasteful or smells something foul, gum always seems to come to the rescue. It can serve as a minty reminder that the taste is no more and fresh breath is on the way!4. “Change is painful in rural Mississippi, so I decided to do it gradually (page 13).” “I was an oddity but every effort was made to include me.