Compare and Contrast Essay

People may go through such hard times that bring them down, so how is it that one can find courage and fight against it? [What is courage?] The movie, The Help, written by Kathryn Stockett and directed by Tate Taylor. “To Kill A Mockingbird” was written by author Harper Lee. The Help, takes place in the town of Jackson, Mississippi, during the 1950’s which happen to be the end of the Jim Crow laws while Mockingbird takes place in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama during the 30’s during the Jim Crow laws at its worst. Compared to The Help, the novel “To Kill A Mockingbird”, takes different approach to courage during the times of the Jim Crow Laws. However, The Help shows courage by having the maids with no voice to stand together where as in “To Kill A Mockingbird”, shows courage through a respected man standing up for those treated less equal. Ultimately although the methods are different the outcome showed similarities.
Although the protagonist of The Help, Skeeter, was the author of the book, “The Help”, the characters that demonstrated the most courage were those known as “The help”, because around these times, Jim Crow Laws were still in effect. Therefore, if the white citizens, or upper class found out that the maids was sharing their stories, the help would have had grave consequences. Understandably the help did not find the idea of writing this book ideal but because of Skeeter’s strong relationship with the maid from her childhood she insisted having the help tell their stories; “I wanna show her perspective so people might understand what it’s like from your side.” (Taylor, The Help), Skeeter feels as if the less fortunate deserve a voice just as much as her and all the other upper class citizens. The most courageous act within the whole movie is no doubt the scene when Minny approaches Ms. Hilly at her home with a pie and Minny surprises Ms. Hilly with her “special” pie. Although Minny’s actions seem extreme, it did seem that she earned the respect of certain characters such as Ms. Hilly’s mother who’s mention the pie to her daughter as a strong insult; “There are two things I can’t seem to forget, that my own daughter put me into a nursing home, and that she ate Minny’s shit.” (Taylor, The Help) Ms. Hilly’s mother acknowledges Minny’s actions and is just a small step towards the end of the racism in Jackson.
Throughout the novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” courage is often demonstrated through various acts of breaking Maycomb’s unwritten stereotypes done by characters such as Atticus and Scout. Atticus shows courage and tries to defeat the stereotype that white is the superior race by defending Tom Robinson, a black man who is accused of raping a white woman. Before the trial has even started Atticus is heckled at some points for defending someone like Tom, yet Atticus sticks to his morals and does what he sees fit to doing the right thing even if its going against what his town believes in; “I do my best to love everybody… I’m hard put, sometimes- baby, its never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name, it just shows you how poor that person is”, (Lee, page 107) Atticus discusses his opinion on how he sees others thoughts and actions towards those less fortunate during these times, in this case the black people. Scout acts courageous by dismissing the idea that a woman has to wear a dress to actually be a woman. Scout only feels comfortable in her trusty overalls because she feels like a dress is “pink prison”, and is uncomfortable physically and mentally. Other women, even Ms. Maudie do not understand Scout’s attachment to her overalls even in inappropriate times to wear them, “What are you doing in overalls? You should be in a dress and camisole, young lady!”, this gives somewhat of an outline of how women were portrayed in the 50’s and in Maycomb but Scout proves she does not feel the need to be included in the stereotypes.

To conclude, Harper Lee and Tate Taylor both take their own swing on courage throughout the past although with different attempt they both ultimately hope to achieve the same goal of gaining equality for the black people of their town. As The Help, brings together the voices of all the help and “To Kill A Mockingbird”, has a respected voice stand up for a single person, and also tries to break gender and racial stereotypes, they each respectively giving a helping hand to those who need and deserve one. Courage is something not easily achievable but based on the novel and movie any small act of courage can spark change for the better for individuals and others.

two things I could improve on are:

1. finding evidence that back up my thesis
2 proof reading and correcting my grammar

two things I did well were:

1. following the guide lines of the outline
2. writing a conclusion

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