American Studies II
Comparing and Contrasting: To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn In the books, The Adventures Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird, the authors demonstrate several themes: the coexistence of good and evil, the importance of moral education, the existence of social inequality, racism and slavery, intellectual and moral education, and the hypocrisy of “civilized” society. The common themes throughout the two books depict; that although the settings are nearly a century apart, society has not changed as drastically as believed. Racism, a main theme throughout both books reveals itself in many ways. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn takes place during the 1830’s – 1840’s, in Missouri, a slave state. During this time period, slavery was a controversial issue; and amongst the main causes for the civil war. In Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck learns to bond with a slave, Jim. Throughout the course of the novel, Jim and Huck become close friends and he realizes that he cares for him. Huck disregards most common opinions throughout society, he is associated with this slave who is supposedly ‘less than human.’ Jim, the slave, is an intellectual human being despite the fact that he is treated as a lesser life form. Whereas, in to Kill a Mockingbird, racism is illustrated in depth through a trial in which a negro man is accused of a rape, to which he is thoroughly proved his innocence. Despite the evidence agreeing with the defendant, the racist jury simply convicts the defendant “guilty”. To Kill a Mockingbird is set in the 1930’s, during the Great Depression in Alabama. A former slave state, and a southern state, the town of Maycomb was swarmed with racist and prejudice people. "The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right...
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