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To Kill A Mockingbird Vs. Child Of … Essay, Research Paper
The story of ?To Kill A Mockingbird? by Harper Lee is an insight
into a little girl?s life. Through the eyes of Jean Louise Finch, also
known as Scout, her world, the township of Maycomb, is a place of
pleasure for her, but that pleasure also contrasts with the pain and
suffering she deals with due to the thoughts and actions of the
townspeople. Even though she is extremely intelligent for her age,
Scout can not understand why so many of the town?s relatively small
population feel the way they do about certain areas of everyday.
The feelings of a young boy, growing up thousands of kilometres
away, almost twenty years premature of Scout?s birth, are extremely
similar to those of Scout in Elizabeth Kata?s novel ?Child Of The
Holocaust?. Hans Hermaman, a young Jewish boy known to his
friends as Harm, has lost his parents during World War II, and is
thrown into a new life, in a small street in the far outskirts of
Frankfurt, in Germany. His street is his life, the air he breathes, and
the light he sees with. His friends are the most important things to
him, but he has an incredible love for academia, and his insight and
intelligence surpasses most of his own age and many children his
The prejudice he encounters during the novel is harsh and
judgmental, and Harm, being a Jewish boy is thrown head-first into it,
whether he likes it or not.
Both these children are wiser than their years, and both have
encountered many problems due to the narrow-mindedness of elder
people. These children rack their minds, trying to understand and
justify the selectively disparaging thoughts and actions of others. Why
do they despise people they do not know? And how can they do so with
such arrogance? But all these people that seem to show bigotry are
seemingly ordinary people, almost all of them are kind and civil to the
children. How could they possibly so horrible so as to be prejudiced
against anyone or anything?
Scout is an ordinary young girl, who enjoys playing with her
friends, although there are few close ones, and her brother. She lives
in a small southern town called Maycomb. Also living with her are her
brother, Jeremy (Jem), her father Atticus, and their black maid,
Calpurnia. Atticus Finch is a very high profile member of the
community, being a lawyer and probably one of the more wealthy
people in the town.
In Harm?s case, once he is settled into his new life with his
aunty, an obese elderly woman who Harm does not care for much, but
has no negative feelings for, he is let outside into the culdesac which
is destined to become his greatest source of joy, and his new friends
provide with a sense of belonging, a feeling he has never enjoyed
before. Harm, despite his shadowy background, is quite a normal boy,
and his social life at his age is very healthy. His friends? parents enjoy
his company and he is often at a friends? house, for he finds his home
comparatively boring, and the live-in maid his aunty has hired to help
her move around and do housework for her seems to abominate Harm
and his friends.
Both Scout and Harm have a figure in their lives which they find
mysterious and intriguing, although the differences are quite
Scout fantasises about a man called Arthur Radley, nicknamed
?Boo? by local children. He is one of a household of ?foot-washers?,
that is, Baptists who apparently believe that everything which is
pleasure is sin. But through a secret hiding place, Boo has given the
Finch children small, yet significant items, and for this Jem and Scout
consider Boo as a friend, and feel close to him in a way.
Young Harm also has a figure in his life whom he is very close to,
but finds himself pulled away by the grips of prejudice society. When
another young boy, Paul, moves to the street with his mother, other
friends parents tell Harm not to go to Paul?s house, because ?Paul?s
mother is a whore, Harm.? Harm goes anyway, in secret, not even
aware of what a ?whore? is, and finds that Paul?s mother is a lovely
lady. Harm is very close to her, and she becomes a mother figure to
the lost Jewish boy. One day, he is told exactly what it is that Paul?s
mother does for a living, and he is shocked. He is forbidden solemnly
to ever venture into her home again, and Harm complies with the
instructions. He loves her as a mother, though, and feels terrible every
time he sees her or thinks about her, and how he has betrayed her. He
wants to talk to her, but knows he can?t, for every other person in the
street despises her, and he thinks that the other families in the street
will believe he is going to her for more than just stories and company.
Scout?s world is turned upside down when her father becomes
the lawyer for a black man, Tom Robinson, who is accused of raping a
white girl. In the lead-up to the trial, the town is divided; it is virtually
the Finches versus the rest of the white township.
People can not overcome their prejudiced views for the sake of
justice, and Atticus is trying his hardest to keep his morals, his family,
and his own life to fight for this black man singled out and accused of
something he did not do.
Scout and Jem defend their father as much as possible, but are
finding it increasingly difficult, as it seems the whole town, even other
children, are set in theirs ways of thinking and will not change their
views, despite the evidence showing the contrary.
When the battle is fought in the court-rooms, Bob Ewell, the
prosecutor, is shown to the public as a deceitful, evil man who has
beaten his daughter, then tried to pass the blame onto an innocent
black man. In the eyes of the court, Bob is the victor, and Tom
Robinson is sent to jail. But in the eyes of the public, Bob?s image has
taken a plunge, and he is shown for what he is: a man with no morals
and even less decency. Scout feels relief and disappointment, and is
confused as to how people will react and what will become of Tom
Robinson, Bob Ewell and her father. A young girl such as Scout
should never have to fight such rancid forms of racism at such a mild
Harm has heard of his best friend, Rip Spiegel?s party, and
decides to attend. Rip?s mother has never allowed any child to enter
their home, throughout the year and more that Rip and Harm have
been best friends. The night of the party draws near. Harm is
delighted that he will finally have the opportunity to meet Rip?s mother
and he intends to make sure Mrs. Spiegel sees what a nice young man
he is, so she will welcome him back into their home. But disaster is
about to strike, in the form of one discriminatory human being. Harm
is turned away from the party, simply because Rip?s mother will not
have a Jew in her home. Harm is blinded by rage in an instant and
attacks his best friend, crying, screaming.
His happiness in a world that he loved was shattered- all
because of one single person?s prejudiced views.
For Scout, the turmoil of the court case is not over. The
tear-shed and unhappiness preceding the trial counts for nothing. One
night, Scout and Jem are walking back from the school in the dark,
when Bob Ewell has decided to take revenge on Atticus, attacking the
defenceless children with a knife, in a futile struggle to gain happiness
at the expense of others.
Luckily for Scout and Jem, their mysterious friend, Boo Radley is
watching and comes to their rescue. Bob Ewell is killed. The children
With Boo Radley finally revealed, a vile man out of the way and a
township slowly realising their mistakes, Scout and Jem?s life is
restored to normal. They are allowed to continue their young lives as
Harm?s life, however, has suffered nothing short of a tragedy. He
has become everything he never wanted to be, all before he is old
enough to drive a car. He has embarrassed himself to such an extent
that he turns into a more sinister Boo Radley. He no longer ventures
outside, and is considered insane by the rest of the people in the
street, because there is no other option for them to consider. Harm?s
silence is sorrowful. He is now a self-confessed pervert, full of anger,
melancholy, and void. He has cut himself off from the world he once
loved. The death of his guardian slides by without a second thought.
He has nothing. Harm is no more.
Harper Lee decided to portray the scene of a young girl,
extraordinary by some standards, and how she is forced to deal with
racism and prejudice when it becomes very close to her. By writing
?To Kill a Mockingbird? in the first person form, Harper Lee provides a
great deal of insight into what Scout is thinking and feeling about
herself, other people, or thing which are happening around her. ?Child
of The Holocaust? is also provides a great insight into the world of
Hans Hermaman, and is probably even more focused on his thoughts
than that of ?To Kill a Mockingbird?. Elizabeth Kata deals with the
precise thoughts of Harm, and the novel is almost an autobiography
written from Harm?s point of view.
In the bigger picture, both books are essentially about how a
child deals with and thinks about prejudice, and how wrong it is to
judge someone on what they are, not who they are. A child?s point of
view is almost necessary it seems, in demonstrating the error of our
Youth is innocence. And in some cases, innocence is wisdom.
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