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To Kill A Mockingbird vs. A Lesson Before Dying

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by

Madeline Lambert

on 2 June 2014

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Transcript of To Kill A Mockingbird vs. A Lesson Before Dying

To Kill A Mockingbird vs. A Lesson Before Dying
Common Themes
Both To
Kill a Mockingbird
and
A Lesson Before Dying
share a common theme of racism and injustice. In both novels those themes follow young black men who live in the south and show how racism has affected their lives. However, the novels differ in how the themes affect those surrounding the two characters. In A
Lesson Before Dying
those affected were just from the black community but in
To Kill a Mockingbird
both the black community and some in the white community including the narrator, Scout, and her father and brother were affected. Though
A Lesson Before Dying
took place in Louisiana and
To Kill a Mockingbird
took place in Southern Alabama, both the novels had similar themes because racism was a national issue.
Tom Robinson vs. Jefferson
Tom Robinson, a black character in
To Kill a Mockingbird
, and Jefferson, a black character in
A Lesson Before Dying
, were affected by the common themes of injustice and racism in the courtroom. In Tom's case, he was convicted of raping a young white woman, and even with the evidence in his favor he was convicted due to his color. Jefferson was convicted for murder and for stealing. In both cases the men were innocent of the charges, but the legal system only acknowledged their race so the charges went against them. Also both characters ended up dying, however Tom basically committed suicide while Jefferson was put to death by the legal system.
The Legal System
Both men experienced discrimination by the legal system when they were being prosecuted. However the lawyers who were defending both men were extremely different. Atticus, Tom's lawyer, was brilliant and actually tried to defend Tom. While Jefferson's lawyer already knew the outcome of the trial and merely put on a show of defending, destroying Jefferson's self image during his speech. Jefferson's lawyer described Jefferson as a hog and used that as his basic defense during the trial.
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