Belonging Thematic Analysis: Romulus, My Father and to Kill a Mockingbird

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To Kill A Mockingbird, is a novel written by Harper Lee, first published in 1960. It was written as a critique of the social structure of the United States of America, especially in the southern states which were plagued by racism and intolerance. Harper Lee uses a young girl, Scout Finch, to narrate the story, allowing the reader to analyse the fictitious town through her innocent perspective - one which has not been corrupted by the racial prejudice so common in the society of that time. Coupled with her uncompromising sense of equality and fairness, this perspective allows the reader to see the injustices and faults of society at the time. In many ways, To Kill a Mockingbird can be easily compared to the novel Romulus, My Father as they both have the common theme of belonging. The characters in both novels both exemplify and explore various aspects of belonging, such as the barriers which can lead to exclusion, relationships, social hierarchy, a sense of community, racial prejudice , the importance of family and those who do not belong in some way. Although racism is an inescapable theme of both novels, they show us racial division can be overcome. To Kill a Mockingbird demonstrates this through Atticus Finch’s actions when he publicly defends a Negro man, Tom Robinson, accused of raping a white girl. His ability to see past the colour of Tom’s skin and fight for justice allows him to be accepted by the black community. This is evident throughout the book, most clearly seen when his children, Jem and Scout, are overwhelmingly welcomed when the visit a Negro church although they are of Anglo Saxon decent. The prevail over racial division is also observed when Reverend Sykes allows the children to sit up on the coloured balcony of the courthouse when there isn't enough space on the floor, and the way the Negro onlookers of the trail silently stand up as a mark of respect when Atticus leaves the court. Similarly, Romulus, My Father conveys a similar message. The...
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