To Kill a Mockingbird 3


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 3x3x3 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

Quotes: Search by Author