To Kill A Mockingbird vs. Child of ...

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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 senior. 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 substantial. 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 age. 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 are saved. With Boo Radley finally revealed, a vile man

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