To Kill a Mockingbird and A Time to Kill: Comparisons Essay

To Kill a Mockingbird and A Time to Kill: Comparisons Essay

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In this essay I will discuss three overarching topics and the differences and similarities they show between the film "A Time to Kill" which stars Samuel L. Jackson and Matthew McConaughey and the novel To Kill a Mockingbird which is written by Harper Lee. These overarching topics will be racial prejudice, justice, and morality. I will discuss racial prejudice's role in the court proceedings as well as state what would have occured had Carl Lee and Tom Robinson been white. In the section about justice I will discuss how the outcomes would have occured in real life had both men been judged based on crimes they actually commited and been judged by the law with no extenuating circumstances or racial prejudices affecting the verdict. I will discuss these themes using examples that have Nathan Radley and Tom Robinson from To Kill a Mockingbird and Carl Lee Hailey from "A Time to Kill".
Racial prejudice affects each story greatly and in two rather different yet very similar ways as it's the only reason that Carl Lee and Tom even face their respective charges in court but for very different reasons. If they had been white or if racism wasn't so widespread through their communities the stories wouldn't just have ended with a different outcome, the entire story would have changed. If Carl Lee was white his daughter would have been white as well which means the men who raped her would either have been given the death penalty immediately or wouldn't have raped her to start with because they feared the legal backlash; if they still did so then Carl Lee would have been able to walk away with no consequences due to racial prejudice not preventing Carl Lee from receiving a just trial in which he would almost instantly be found innocent. If...


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... the man who was only wrongly accused of a crime is shot to death. However, moral justice is served in atleast one story; in "A Time to Kill" Carl Lee Hailey is found innocent by reason of insanity and allowed to go free whereas Tom Robinson is show to death inside the walls of a prison. In the vein of morality both stories seem to agree that murder can be justified; in "A Time to Kill" Carl Lee is given the moral high ground for killing to people because prior to their deaths they had raped his daughter, in To Kill a Mockingbird Nathan Radley stabs Bob Ewell to save two innocent children's lives and is given the moral high ground for doing so. All in all, the stories share enough in common and agree with each other upon enough themes to be compared with each other, yet have enough differences between themselves to make for two very compelling stories to experience.

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