Intruder in a Time to Kill a Mockingbird: How the Coutrroom Drama makes the Unpopular South Popular

William W G Lazenbatt

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    This essay argues that the southern courtroom genre is cathartic, since it transforms unpopular stereotypes of behaviour such as violence and bigotry into popular and attractive traits such as tolerance and respect for justice. It focuses on three novels and their subsequent film versions to illustrate this process: William Faulkner's "Intruder in the Dust", Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" and John Grisham's "A Time to Kill". In each, an underlying concern with miscegenation, as evidence of the final, closest and most personal connection between members of different races, is identified and examined in the context of the southern social history of the period. As these three examples of the courtroom genre suggest, the cathartic effect of recognizing the common humanity behind the superficial differences of race is a morally edifying and heartening process, one that secures the popularity of the form and promotes the best qualities of the south.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe (Un)popular South
    EditorsMarcel Arbeit, M Thomas Inge
    Place of PublicationOlomouc, Czech Republic
    PublisherPalacký University
    Pages63-80
    ISBN (Print)978-80-244-2888-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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  • Cite this

    Lazenbatt, W. W. G. (2011). Intruder in a Time to Kill a Mockingbird: How the Coutrroom Drama makes the Unpopular South Popular. In M. Arbeit, & M. T. Inge (Eds.), The (Un)popular South (pp. 63-80). Palacký University.