Comparison: To Kill A Mockingbird and Time to Kill

by 022331 on November 30, 2010

Comparing the two famous court scenes from movies, they are quite similar in some ways, and different in other ways. The two scenes are the court scene from ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, and ‘A Time to Kill’.

In the movie (derived from the famous story) ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, we are focusing on the court scene, and Atticus’ closing speech. A bit about the events leading up to it: When greatly detested Bob Ewell charges a black man (Tom Robinson) of raping his daughter, they are taken to trial. Atticus, who supports Tom Robinson, knows he is fighting a losing battle. Still, he gives it one last shot. He speaks to the audience about how Tom Robinson is innocent, and that he should not be charged. Furthermore, he talks about how somebody is to blame, and that is Bob Ewell himself.

In the movie, his stance relays one of a disappointed father, chastising his child. His head is bowed down, and he speaks in low, deep murmurs. Sometimes, his hands are stuffed in his pocket, and when he stresses a point, he raises his volume and uses hand gestures. Just the tone in which he speaks makes the audience ashamed of themselves for supporting Ewell, even for the slightest of seconds. He pauses frequently, as though waiting for the news to sink in to people, or maybe stalling for time to collect himself from the brink of anger, again.

Content-wise, the words are almost exactly the same as the book.

Regarding the movie, ‘A Time to Kill’, the speech by another white man (much like Atticus) supporting a black man (much like Tom Robinson). Out of anger, a black man shoots two white men for raping his daughter. Because the evidence that his daughter was raped disappeared, it seems like they will surely lose. When the white man defends the black man, he gives a speech. Some of the things in the speech are things such as just because the two men weren’t there, does not make the truth any less true. He also says that as a lawyer, his job is not only to defend the black man, but also to seek the truth, which he urges everyone else to do. Finally, he says that it is because of racism that this is happening. He asks everyone to close his eyes and imagine the scene, giving detailed images.

His straightened shoulders and his upwards-tilted head show the confidence with which he is speaking. He speaks in a loud, clear voice, all the time. This adds to the image that he knows what he is doing. When he asked people to close his eyes, and delivered the speech, it was more effective. His content consisted of crude and emphasized language. When he cries at the end, he falters, and deciding that he could not speak anymore, without getting more emotional, ends the speech. This is an extremely powerful technique. His punch line before he stopped is that instead of imagining that all those horrid things happened to a black girl, ‘imagine that she was white’. This is suggesting that the racism between the blacks and the whites cause the truth to be ignored or erased.

There are many similarities between the two speeches. The speakers are all walking and talking, the content is the same, in the sense of racism. They both emphasize words that have a great meaning and connection to the issue, and they both have pauses, although the pauses might be for a different reason. At the same time, there are many differences. Some of them are: the murmuring that Atticus sometimes has never occurs during the other speech. While Atticus’ speech has a more chiding tone, the other one has a more emotional one. That aside, the underline tone for both speeches is the same. They are both pleading or convincing the views of people to change. They both state strong facts, in a voice that makes the facts all the more staggering.

Even though the two speeches have their own differences, whether it be through their gestures or their words, they share the underline tone, and the underline purpose.

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