Compare and Contrast Huckleberry Finn and to Kill a Mockingbird

1687 Words Nov 3rd, 2012 7 Pages
9/12/2012 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
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Despite the fact that she is a lot younger, she grasps the situation better than her older brother who seems to fall apart at the concept of human evil.
The Mockingbird had become something symbolic in the story. The mockingbird represents innocence and portrays itself through several different characters in the story; such as Scout Finch or Boo Radley. Despite their innocence however, they can be injured with their contact with evil. In the story, it’s explained how Boo Radley’s innocence is tainted because of his abusive father. Thus the extended metaphor or symbolism would explain that killing a mockingbird is tainting innocence. When Scout inquires her, Miss Maudie explains, “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but . . . sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” This also links the connection of Scout and Jem both having the last name finch, which is another name for a particularly small (and also harmless) bird.
In Huckleberry Finn, Huck comes from the lower levels of white society, having a father who is a drunk who disappears constantly. Widow Douglas adopts him and attempts to reform him, although she has difficulties. Huck does not accept the ways of society, and often tells Widow that he would rather go live in hell for a change of scenery. The Widow tries to teach him how to read and tries to make him religious. Although the Widow’s efforts do finally teach