Comparing Atticus to Jake

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Atticus Finch, the hero of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and Jake Brigance, the leading man of “A Time to Kill,” are both brave, determined lawyers. Though they share some similar techniques in the way they defend their clients, overall their methods as lawyers are quite different.

In the courtroom, Atticus’ qualities are the same as they are in his everyday life. He takes being a lawyer seriously, and sees it as a calling, rather than a job. He is an experienced lawyer, and uses cross examination to discover that Bob Ewell was left handed, and that Tom Robinson’s left arm was unusable – both crucial pieces of evidence for his case.

Jake, on the other hand, is young and inexperienced. Near the beginning of the case, Jake says to Carl Lee, “We're going to lose this case, Carl lee. There are no more points of law to argue here. I want to cop a plea, maybe Buckley will cop us a second degree murder and we can get you just life in prison.” He was given assistance by his mentor, Lucius, and used his methods, rather than his own. However, as it came to the end of the film, Jake learned how to successfully defend Carl Lee on his own. He connected with the jury, realising what would help him win the case. “Can you see her? Her raped, beaten, broken body soaked in their urine, soaked in their semen, soaked in her blood, left to die. Can you see her? I want you to picture that little girl. Now imagine she's white.”Atticus’ characteristics remain generally constant throughout the book, but he was swayed a little by his sister’s input. He maintained his dignity, even when Bob Ewell spat in his face, saying, “So if spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayella Ewell one extra beating, that's something I'll gladly take. He had to take it out on somebody and I'd rather it be me than that houseful of children out there.” This persecution is also an example of Atticus being linked to the theme of prejudice in the story.

Jake develops dramatically throughout the...
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