A Time to Kill Themes & Symbolism

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Bigotry

This novel is, first and foremost, a study of deep-seated racial hatred that has been papered over but remains ready to erupt at the slightest provocation. While Clanton, Mississippi, is at the outset a peaceful town in Ford County, which is twenty-six percent black and seventy-four percent white, it is not a town that has learned to tolerate differences. There are three major coffee shops where the locals gather for breakfast and lunch, and signs no longer identify them as "white only" or "colored." However, the lines have been silently drawn, and Claude's is the "black" coffee shop, not frequented by whites in general and visited for Friday barbecue by only the very liberal whites such as Jake Brigance. Whites people the "Coffee Shop" where Jake generally breakfasts.

After the rape of Tonya Hailey, virtually everyone in town agrees that the white perpetrators should be punished. A...

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This section contains 1,789 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Time to Kill Study Guide
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