To Kill A Mockingbird Movie Comparison

869 Words4 Pages
When a piece of literature is shaped into a film, it takes on a dimension that puts faces to characters and gives depth to plot elements on a visual level. An example of this connection is To Kill a Mockingbird, a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960 and adapted into a film directed by Robert Mulligan two years later. The story centers around Scout, a young girl who with her brother Jem, watches as their father Atticus willingly defends a black man, Tom Robinson, accused of raping a white woman in the racially charged landscape of 1930s Maycomb, Alabama. Harper Lee’s motives in writing To Kill a Mockingbird are different than those of Robert Mulligan, but several elements of both forms are similar. This parity is evidently clear in one section…show more content…
In the novel, during the tense moments when Atticus faces the lynch mob alone, he is calm and composed. When Atticus orders the mob to speak softly so that Tom can continue sleeping, they listen to him. Upon realizing that Sheriff Tate cannot help him, Atticus' voice retains its tenderness. It is this aura of respect and admiration that Peck emulates in the film, reaffirming that one of Mulligan’s central goals for the film is to reinforce Atticus' position as the archetype of a hero. Also, the stretched-leg pose that Atticus assumes when he is sitting outside the jail emphasizes that he is willing to face any challenge to his beliefs, and Peck’s inflection is ideal for the scene because his low tones are almost mollifying, and his lips remain pursed as if he is sympathetic towards the mob. Atticus maintains this demeanor throughout his discussion with the mob and only when Scout and Jem arrive does he rise from his chair and raise his voice, showing his dedication to protecting his children, an essential quality of a hero that Peck executes with a certain…show more content…
For example, Atticus' impassioned defense of Tom in the story and his repeated deviations from the societal norm depict him as a renegade whose purpose is to reform and heal. In the novel, while walking to the jail Scout says, “There was a solitary light burning in the distance” and describes how the entire street appears deserted except for Atticus. The light represents that Atticus is the sole proponent of racial/moral goodness in the town, and that the job of fighting through the intrinsic bias in Maycomb is his. In the film, as the mob scene fades out, Atticus and the lamp are the only elements left on the screen before it turns completely dark, supporting the corresponding moment in the novel. Also, the lamp’s light during the scene surrounds everything around Atticus, reminding viewers of the lessons he imparts in his children throughout the novel. These visual representations echo Lee’s original message impeccably. Mulligan also uses a low camera angle to focus on Atticus’ face, showing his power through his facial

More about To Kill A Mockingbird Movie Comparison

Open Document