Comparing Themes of To Kill a Mockingbird and A Raisin in the Sun Essay

To Kill a Mockingbird and A Raisin in the Sun are books both written during a time of racial tension and inequality. Harper Lee and Lorraine Hansberry lived through the civil rights movement and saw the physical and verbal harassment against African Americans. This experience is evident in both works as the theme of fighting prejudice shines through. The goal of this paper is to compare and contrast the theme in both books and how it affected both of the families. Also, throughout the paper I will examine the themes of innocence and fighting prejudice.

In order to analyze each section thoroughly, I have divided my paper into many sections. My sections will include the summary of the book by Harper Lee followed by a theme analysis. Next, the same elements will make up the following sections except involving A Raisin in the Sun. Finally, I will conclude with a paragraph of comparison of the impacts of the themes in both works. However, I will first need to summarize the books and the themes throughout, and it is to this that I now turn.

To Kill a Mockingbird takes place several years after the Great Depression in Maycomb County, Alabama. The plot flows through the Finch family led by the single parent, Atticus. The story begins with Scout, the youngest Finch, her older brother Jem, and their friend Dill becoming curious over the town mystery, Boo Radley. Led by false rumors from the town gossip Ms. Stephanie, they become frightened by the thought of his mysterious life and of the eerie house in which he lives.

One day a rabid dog is spotted in the town. The sheriff gets Atticus to shoot the dog as he was supposedly the best shot in town, and the children’s views of their father were changed after they witnessed this ho…

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…ment and attacks if they were even seen treating a black man fairly. However, courage in characters of both books overcame the hardships that came with their race.

Overall, the similarities and differences of these two books written during a period of social turmoil can be seen in the themes of innocence, fighting prejudice, and gender discrimination. These pieces of literature provided a much needed example for the community of the mid twentieth century of how life really was. They opened the eyes of many people through touching sensitive topics like racism and equality for all. Without these pieces of literature and the themes found within, the transition to equality may have taken a lot longer.

Works Cited

Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. New York: Random House, 1959.

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: Warner Books, 1982. Print.

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