A Time to Kill Themes

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Themes

Jake certainly is a committed lawyer, yet the book sketches how this commitment exacts costs in his ethics, his family life, and his mental stability. In the novel's morally relative world, commitment may be the only idealism available: There are no standards except to fight relentlessly for one's cause. Grisham describes how other committed lawyers suffer for their embrace of their cause. Norman Reinfeld, the white NAACP lawyer who specializes in desperate capital cases and who almost seizes the Hailey case from Jake, is both an idealist and a tenacious fighter: "with each execution [of a client — he has seen four] he renewed his vow to break any law, violate any ethic, contempt any court, disrespect any judge, ignore any mandate, or do whatever to prevent a human from legally killing another human . . . He seldom slept more than three hours a night. Sleep was difficult with thirty-one...

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This section contains 2,105 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Time to Kill Study Guide
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