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To Kill A Mockingbird 3 Essay, Research Paper

Comparing To Kill a Mockingbird with The Man Without a Face

“Fighting Fear and Tradition”

Michael Jordan can’t single-handedly win a basketball game. Wayne

Gretzky can’t win hockey games by himself either. It takes a team

effort to be successful. That was exactly the case in Harper Lee’s To

Kill a Mockingbird and The Man Without a Face. Even though the time

period of To Kill a Mockingbird (1930s) and The Man Without a Face

(1960s) were vastly different, everyone needed help, no matter how

dangerous. It is no easy task and takes a lot of courage, but it is not

impossible, it is achievable. Although Jem Finch and Charles Norstadt

both matured over time, Jem had no real goal except to be a better

all-around person, while Charles’ goal was to make it to the military

school. In Jem’s situation, he believed one of the steps to success was

to escort his little sister, Scout, back home. He did, but he paid a

sacrificial price. A complete surprise attack would have left Jem

lifeless like a fish on dry land if Boo Radley, the outcast, had not

saved Jem’s life. Jem even took the humiliation of apologizing after

destroying the garden of Mrs. Dubose because of his lack of self

control. Charles Norstadt matured a lot as well and was rewarded with

entry to a top military school. He learned to accept the fact that

people were no longer supporting him. For example, when McLeod ordered

Charles to dig a 3×3x3 hole, he refused to do it. He later learned that

this was his geometry lesson. Also, when Charles attempted to shortcut

through his essay assignment, he was caught and acco! rding to McLeod

“a high class cheat now”. Perhaps, Charles’ biggest maturity step was

his ability to see the person behind the burnt face of Justin McLeod.

The news was biased, and McLeod would not answer, so he was forced to

take facts from his personal experiences and interpret them “I didn’t

teach you the whole summer so you could cheat on this question!” yelled

Justin McLeod. Even though both Jem and Charles fought against

society’s perspective, they both blossomed admirably and were later

able to take a stand against a community with large prejudices.

Despite the prejudices that both communities had, the community in To

Kill a Mockingbird was racist towards Tom Robinson while the media

portrayed the negative image of Justin McLeod in The Man Without a

Face. Because of Tom Robinson’s racial disadvantage in court, Atticus

Finch became his lawyer. Atticus felt that everyone, including people

of all colors, should be equal. “^ our courts are the great levelers,

and in our courts all men are created equal,” (p. 205) said Atticus

Finch, in his court finale. Even before the actual trial, society was

out to kill Tom Robinson. Atticus even got up in the middle of the

night to protect he inmates. Justin McLeod failed in his initial

attempt to teach a child from a broken family. Charles, however, gave

McLeod a second chance. McLeod needed Charles, to recapture the trust,

friendship, and the teaching skill he had lost. Without Charles, McLeod

would forever be isolated completely from society. However, even as

prejudiced as the communi! ties were, they functioned amiably without

an earthquake like effect on their lifestyle. And even though the

Finches and Norstadts both had large problems, the community did not

interfere. It was dealt with by a parent or housekeeper. Even though

Calpurnia and Charles’ mother were both maternal figures, Calpurnia

played a stronger role in the development of Jem while Charles’ mother

was very nonchalant about her son. “On my part, I went to much trouble,

sometimes, not to provoke her,” (p. 34) commented Scout. Unlike

Charles’ mother, Calpurnia adapted well between the clashing races and

had authority in the house hold. Calpurnia took care of Jem and Scout,

as well exposed them to new ideas. For example, during a scorching day,

Calpurnia brought them all cold lemonade as opposed to making them get

it themselves! She also took them to her church which taught Jem and

Scout respect for negroes. As for Charles’ mother, she was not able to

keep track of her child because she was so pre-occupied by her new

husband. When Jem returned home late at night from McLeod’s place, his

mother had no idea. Eventually it was too much for her, and she

prioritized her husband over her son. Nonetheless, both women played

importa! nt roles. Without either of them, Charles and Jem would not

have been able to reach the position they are now despite their lacking

home environment. Although Jem Finch and Charles Norstadt both had

broken families, Jem Finch had the support of Atticus, his father,

while Charles Norstadt looked up to Justin McLeod for paternal support.

Atticus always kept Jem in line whenever he went insane. For example,

when Jem lost it and destroyed Mrs. Dubose’s garden, it was Atticus who

forced Jem to apologize and basically fight his fear. When Jem and Dill

kept attempting to agitate Boo Radley, it was Atticus who told them to

stop. Atticus also led by example when he shot a mad dog. He proved

that he could protect when needed to. Even though, Charles had no dad,

McLeod was in almost every aspect like a second father. When Charles

heard the actions of his biological father, he immediately went to

McLeod for support. McLeod even kept him for the night. In fact,

without Justin McLeod, Charles’ life would have been dramatically

different. Despite the lack of parental support in the households of

Jem and Charles, they both looked to remed! y the problem. They both

proved it was possible even though they both were at a major

disadvantage; through the help of others. In our lifetime, we will

reach many steep mountains. We will need help in order to survive, even

if it means seeking our worst enemy. Just as in their period of time,

today, we will need allies to win and succeed. No matter how dangerous

and scared we may be. They may be the missing piece to the puzzle of


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