Racial Segregation And The Film Of Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

1044 Words Aug 13th, 2016 null Page
During the 1930s in the American South, racial disparity intensified with the growth of racist attitudes and segregation. Harper Lee’s 1960 classic literary novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” was successful in delicately portraying this racial segregation. Just two years later, Robert Mulligan directed the Oscar winning, 1962 film adaptation, taking the novel’s challenged tropes to the big screen, much to the appeal of fans. The novel and film adaptation had displayed similarities and differences that distinctly evoke emotion in its audiences. The film using film techniques and performances to create anticipation. The theme of race relations had been central to the context of both texts’ production, and furthermore to American Literature and film to this date.

“Scout” Finch lives with her older brother, Jem, and their widowed father, Atticus, in the 1930’s Alabama town of Maycomb. Maycomb is a segregated town where people face the irrationality of hierarchical attitudes towards race, wealth, and morality. Atticus is faced with a dilemma, where he struggles for justice in defending an innocent African-American man, in a clearly prejudiced court case.

Mulligan’s manipulation of camera angles, shot types, and the soundtrack, heightens emotions throughout the film. Elmer Bernstein, the soundtrack producer adds contrast in musical tones to intensify the scene. In doing so, Mulligan effectively outlines the ostracism of African Americans and the impending racial disparity during…

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