Similarities Between Mud And To Kill A Mockingbird

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Harper Lee’s novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” and Jeff Nichols’ film “Mud” are set in two different eras, revolve around the lives of two very different characters, and explore different themes. However, one theme that is prevalent in both texts is that of the adult world being a confusing and frightening place from a child’s perspective. Nichols and Lee use different stylistic devices which impact their audience in different ways, but are effective in showing that the adult world can be a confusing and frightening place from a child’s perspective.
The contradictions made by the adults surrounding Ellis and Scout throughout “Mud” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” confuse them. While the people and children of Maycomb, including some members of Scout’s
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Ellis, Jem and Scout are confused about the reasons for violence and feel frightened in violent situations. One situation where Nichols’ shows how Ellis is confused and frightened by violence is shown at Juniper’s hotel room when Ellis and Neckbone see a man beating Juniper. Ellis does not know who is beating Juniper or why, but he courageously runs into her room to protect her. The cinematic techniques used by Nichols including lighting techniques, camera angles and music show how Ellis feels about this violent scene. When Ellis is opening the door of Junipers’ room, sunlight streams into it. This may be perceived allegorically by the audience – Ellis (light) breaking in to the room to defend Juniper. However, the door closes as Ellis runs into the room which once again gives it an eerie and frightening feel. The music in this scene is dramatic and suspenseful, highlighting the negative energy contained in the room. Camera angles show both Ellis’ point of view – which impact the viewer, enabling them to better understand how Ellis feels - and other angles which highlight how dangerous the man in the room is. Point of view is especially important and impacts the viewer when it is used to show the violent man looking down on Ellis before he punches him. The techniques employed by Nichols show how violent and dark the adult world can be and how horror-like …show more content…
A situation in “Mud” where Ellis is frightened by the consequences of parental expectation is shown when Ellis’ father is yelling at Ellis, because he stole JJ Crawford’s boat motor for Mud. Ellis explains to his parents that he and Neckbone “…thought it (the motor) was junk” but Ellis’ parents are very disappointed in him. Nichols’ uses lighting techniques to put both Ellis’ and his father’s face in shadow. He also places Ellis backed up against the wall, with the camera angle highlighting how his father is looking down at him. Whereas the techniques used by Nichols emphasize how Ellis feels trapped in a situation because he has broken his parents’ (adults’) expectation and believes his parents would not properly understand the reason for his actions, the techniques used by Lee emotionally impact the reader, emphasizing how Jem feels about the unjust and prejudicial laws in Maycomb which he cannot change. Jem feels confused and saddened by the injustice of societal laws after Tom Robinson’s trial. Lee uses a sort of juxtaposing irony to contrast how Jem feels compared to the majority of Maycomb’s white residents. “His (Jem’s) face was streaked with angry tears as we made our way through the cheerful crowd. ‘It ain’t right,’ he muttered.” The

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