Essay by hanisheg June 2004

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The two novels "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "A Time to Kill" both portray accounts of gruesome racial discrimination in 18th century America and the heroic acts of some white Americans who endangered their own lives to confront that evil.

In "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "A Time to Kill" the authors Harper Lee and John Grisham outline this subject of racial discrimination in a very similar manner. In hope of further analyzing the two novels, and finding some points of contrast ; I will focus on plot, character , and setting.

According to Atticus Finch : "There is something in our world that makes men lose their heads - they couldn't be fair if they tried. In our court, when it's a white man's word against a black man's, the white man always wins".# The above statement strongly suggests racial discrimination exists in the novel.

Discrimination; as defined in Random House Webster's dictionary is to make a distinction on the basis of a prejudice; to show partiality. Racial discrimination therefore, would mean a prejudice based on race.

In distinguishing both novels in terms of plot ; Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" is the story of a young man who is wrongfully accused of raping a white woman.

In contrast, "A Time to Kill" is a story of man who kills two men in cold blood ; because they had raped his daughter. Both are the stories of two black man , fighting for their rights in the court of law.

Although Tom Robinson is accused of rape he is really an innocent man. He serves as a scapegoat in "To Kill a Mockingbird" a man held responsible for crimes the victims own father didn't feel he could admit committing. The fact that...