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To Kill A Mockingbird And A Time To Kill: Similarities And Differences

1054 words - 4 pages

A Time to Kill and To Kill a Mockingbird both have a number of similarities to be compared and contrasted. Both stories can be compared in their themes about justice and racial prejudice. However, this is where the similarities end. The themes and ideas in both novels are vastly different in shape and scope. In A Time to Kill justice is the main theme and most of the ideas are focused on justice and the gray in between the lines of black and white set by the law, racial prejudice is also touched upon very frequently in the comparisons between Jake Brigance and Carl Lee Hailey and how he wouldn't even have had to face trial if he was a white man. In To Kill a Mockingbird justice is a theme which is not expanded upon or explained in nearly as much detail as it is in A Time to Kill. To Kill a Mockingbird also has a much larger variety in it's themes, ranging from the themes of justice to the exploration of a child's way of perceiving right and wrong as well as the idea of coming of age. These stories are honestly and objectively far more different than they are alike.
A Time to Kill is a story based primarily on justice. The story is based around the trial of a black man named Carl Lee Hailey, who is accused of murdering two unarmed white men in the middle of a courthouse. To Kill a Mockingbird is a story about many themes including a child's innocent perception of the world, a man's shame and the lengths to which he will go to regain his pride, and at the root of it all is a matter of justice. To Kill a Mockingbird features a trial in which a black man named Tom Robinson is accused of raping and beating a white woman. The main connection between the stories is a matter of racial prejudice. Neither of these trials would have even occurred had the accused been white and/or the victim(s) been black. These stories also have another fact in common, neither lawyer, not Jake Brigance and certainly not Atticus Finch, suffer from the racial prejudice which brought these men, Carl Lee Hailey and Tom Robinson, into the courtroom to be judged. These stories are both about two men who try and fight for another man's rights to a fair trial and for justice to be seen so that they can return to their families.
To Kill a Mockingbird and A Time to Kill also have some rather large differences. Even though they both feature the trial of a black man betrayed by justice they end in a rather different fashion. To Kill a Mockingbird sees Tom Robinson shot to death while attempting to escape prison after he decides that there's no way he'll ever see a fair trial. A Time to Kill ends rather differently considering Carl Lee Hailey gets off without any consequences due to his being declared not guilty by reason of insanity. The startling difference in the outcomes of each trial changes the message of these stories. To Kill a Mockingbird becomes a tragic story...

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