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To Kill A Mockingbird And A Time To Kill: Comparisons

1198 words - 5 pages

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 Tom Robinson had been white then either he would have been able to have a relationship with Mayella Ewell without any backlash and without Mayella and her father framing him for her rape and beatings or he would never have even associated with her as he would have been a normal white man who wasn't allowed to consort with Mayella Ewell in the first place because her family was not respectable.
Justice plays a great part in each story. This section will deal with legal justice rather than moral justice. Legally, if Carl Lee and Tom Robinson had been guilty of their crimes then they would both have been killed or jailed and it would be legally justifiable as no court of law outside of fiction would care about any extenuating circumstances that their lawyers could present that would make their actions morally justifiable. Following that line of thought, in a legal sense if Carl Lee and Tom Robinson where judged by their actual criminal activity, minus their circumstances and their lawyers persuasion of the jury, the stories would have ended with Carl Lee justifiably jailed or killed because he commited murder in the first degree whereas Tom Robinson actually commited no crimes at all and would be judged innocent and...

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