Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Analysis

Literary Devices in The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

The Watsons as we know them hail from two very different parts of the country. Dad's family was all born and raised in Flint, Michigan, while Momma's family is from Birmingham, Alabama. Talk about...

Narrator Point of View

Kenny's great and all, but why isn't Byron our narrator? Let's take a look.Kenny loves to have his nose in whatever is going on with Byron, so we don't miss any juicy details from the big bro. But...

Genre

Kenny and Byron both start out as kids. (Duh alert!) Byron is a foolish teenage delinquent, and Kenny is an innocent, dinosaur-wielding ten-year-old. By the end of the book, the boys haven't aged s...

Tone

The Weird Watsons are all about the funny. They love to make each other laugh, and that means they make us laugh, too. The Watsons' attitude about life reminds us that there's always something to l...

Writing Style

Kenny just loves to exaggerate, and that makes for some pretty interesting descriptions along the way. But because this kid has such a vivid imagination, we as readers have to stop and decode Kenny...

What's Up With the Title?

The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 is a Momma original; it's what she titles the little notebook where she plans every minute and dime of their trip. It might seem like an odd title; after all, th...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

In memory ofAddie Mae CollinsBorn 4/18/49, died 9/15/63Denise McNairBorn 11/17/51, died 9/15/63Carole RobertsonBorn 4/24/49, died 9/15/63Cynthia WesleyBorn 4/30/49, died 9/15/63the toll for one day...

What's Up With the Ending?

The last chapter brings us back to Flint a few weeks after the bombing. The Watsons' physical journey has ended, but the emotional journey is far from over—especially for Kenny. Kenny withdraws f...

Tough-o-Meter

Watsons has some lingo some cultural references particular to the 1960s that might have you scratching your head, but it's nothing you can't handle with a little attention to the context clues and...

Plot Analysis

The Weird WatsonsKenny and his family live in Flint, Michigan. They're known as the Weird Watsons because they always manage to get themselves into crazy situations like Byron freezing his lips to...

Trivia

Get this: The Watsons Go to Birmingham was originally going to be The Watsons Go to Florida. Huh? Why Florida? Because Christopher Paul Curtis (the author) got the idea for the book when he took a...

Allusions

Narcissus (1.115)Langston Hughes (2.21)Winnie the Pooh (13.9, 13.28)The Wizard of Oz (12.30)Frankenstein (11.78)Dracula (11.78)Americans vs. Nazis (3.53, 5.6)Walter Cronkite, famous newscaster (8.1...
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