David Guterson, the author of Snow Falling on Cedars, says that Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird has had an impact on his writing. There are major similarities shared between the two novels, along with a huge difference. To begin with, the biggest similarity is that the novels both have prejudice apparent throughout the stories. In To Kill a Mockingbird, a colored man, Tom Robinson, went to court because a white girl accused him of raping her. Many people did not support Tom because he was colored, and he was judged as a liar and stupid. Similarly, a Japanese man named Kabuo Miyamoto has gone to court after being accused of killing a white man in Snow Falling on Cedars. He also did not have much support because of his race. The trial occurred about a decade after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and many Japanese were treated unfairly.
The main difference between these two novels is that in To Kill a Mockingbird, the community let racial prejudice ruin a man’s life. Tom Robinson was found guilty and killed as his punishment, even though he was innocent. On the other hand, Kabou Miyamoto was found innocent and racial prejudice was pushed aside. Kabou was also innocent likewise to Tom, but Kabou had people sticking up for him unlike Tom. Tom’s only supporter was his lawyer and family; meanwhile, Kabou had the support of his lawyer along with his family, Ishmael, and the judge. As shown above, the theme of racial prejudice presented similarities and differences among the two novels.
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