An Essay Analysing The Theme Of Outsider In 'to Kill A Mockingbird' By Harper Lee And 'silas Marner' By George Elliot

3012 words - 12 pages

Discuss the theme of outsider in 'Silas Marner' and 'To Kill A Mockingbird'The theme of 'outsider' runs throughout both 'Silas Marner', written by Harper Lee, and 'To Kill A Mockingbird', written by George Eliot. Many other similarities exist between the two novels as well. Both novels are written by women in a time were oppression, segregation and prejudice were around in some force. Both novels involve a character that is an outsider by towards the end becomes accepted into the remote community they found themselves in. Both outsiders in the two novels are also male. Both novels are also set 30 years prior to writing giving the author hindsight and retrospective. However, differences also exist between the two novels. 'Silas Marner' is set in England during the years just before and during the industrial revolution whereas 'To Kill A Mockingbird' is set in South USA during the 1930s. Other differences involve the focus of the two novels. 'To Kill A Mockingbird' does not centrally lie on the theme of Boo Radley as the outsider or on the life of Boo Radley but more on racism and prejudice and uses Boo Radley as an example of a product of the bad things in Maycomb, Alabama. However, 'Silas Marner' does lie centrally on the theme of Silas Marner as an outsider, how he became an outsider and how he coped and became excepted. It is these differences and similarities that help portray a theme of outsider in the novel's context and is what makes both novels interesting while still being unique.'To Kill A Mockingbird' is set in the 1930s in Alabama in a fictional county named Maycomb. This, historically, places the novel in the midst of social prejudice against the blacks and how they are not accepted in the communities in the USA. 'Silas Marner' is set in the late 1820s through to the early 1850s in central England in a fictional town called Lantern Yard and the remote Raveloe. During this time the industrial revolution takes place. Prejudice and racism is not, however, in full force during this time as few foreigners have yet had the opportunity to immigrate to England. However, communities, especially remote communities are always wary of newcomers or people who look different or dress different. This is the basis of prejudice in Raveloe.These items give both novels historical and social context, which put issues the novels deal with in perspective with the time they are set in. This effects the theme of outsider that runs through the two novels as the social and historical contexts of each novel is different. In 'To Kill A Mockingbird', the outsider, Boo Radley, is an outsider due to his past and certain acts he had committed which had left him locked up inside his house over an extensive period and so making him socially impaired. He became and outsider due to rumours and gossip which escalates and grows in such a small community causing the effect of the town being scared and wary of Boo Radley. An example of a rumour about Boo Radley is about him...

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