To Kill a Mockingbird and A Raisin in the Sun are books both written during a time of racial tension and inequality. Harper Lee and Lorraine Hansberry lived through the civil rights movement and saw the physical and verbal harassment against African Americans. This experience is evident in both works as the theme of fighting prejudice shines through. The goal of this paper is to compare and contrast the theme in both books and how it affected both of the families. Also, throughout the paper I will examine the themes of innocence and fighting prejudice.
In order to analyze each section thoroughly, I have divided my paper into many sections. My sections will include the summary of the book by Harper Lee followed by a theme analysis. Next, the same elements will make up the following sections except involving A Raisin in the Sun. Finally, I will conclude with a paragraph of comparison of the impacts of the themes in both works. However, I will first need to summarize the books and the themes throughout, and it is to this that I now turn.
To Kill a Mockingbird takes place several years after the Great Depression in Maycomb County, Alabama. The plot flows through the Finch family led by the single parent, Atticus. The story begins with Scout, the youngest Finch, her older brother Jem, and their friend Dill becoming curious over the town mystery, Boo Radley. Led by false rumors from the town gossip Ms. Stephanie, they become frightened by the thought of his mysterious life and of the eerie house in which he lives.
One day a rabid dog is spotted in the town. The sheriff gets Atticus to shoot the dog as he was supposedly the best shot in town, and the children’s views of their father were changed after they witnessed this horrific event. Later on, Atticus decides to be the lawyer for Tom Robinson. Tom was an African American accused of raping Mayella who was a member of the Ewell family considered by the town as “trash”. The Finch family comes under scrutiny as Atticus prepares to fight for racial equality, and the children continuously stand up for him. After Mrs. Dubose criticized Atticus for defending a negro, Jem decides to stick up for his father by cutting the tops off of her flowers. Atticus punishes Jem by making him read to her every day and later defends the woman after her death and praises her for her courage as she tried to fight a morphine addiction.
The trial of Tom Robinson came and Jem and Scout had to sneak into the upper balcony to watch. Even though the lack of evidence clearly favored the defense winning, the all white jury found Tom Robinson guilty. After trying to escape the prison, Tom Robinson gets shot and killed. Even though Bob Ewell, Mayella’s alcoholic father, gets the outcome he wants in the trial, his reputation was damaged severely as it became evident he was the one who really abused his daughter.
To get back at Atticus, Bob attacks Scout and Jem with a knife after a Halloween event. He breaks Jem’s arm...