The TKAM Movie, A Film With The Same Moral As The Novel And Mostly Inconsequential Changes

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Movie rating: 3/5

Everyone always says, “It’s better to first read the book and then watch the movie.” “How does this concept apply to the book To Kill A Mockingbird?” “Is there a lot of difference between the book and the movie?”, and “Does that affect the message the book gives you?” To Kill A Mockingbird was a 1960’s bildungsroman written by Harper Lee. The things left out or changed in the movie will affect your understanding of the novel a little bit, however, it will not take away the book’s main moral, the effects of racism and prejudice.

 

The book Is about protagonists Scout and Jem. Scout and Jem are two children growing up in Maycomb, a small, boring town filled with prejudice. In summer their friend Dill comes and they make it a mission to get a glimpse of their mysterious neighbour Boo Radley. Scout and Jem’s father, Atticus, is a lawyer who is asked to be part of the most important case of his life, the Tom Robinson case. Tom Robinson was falsely accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell. All of these events cause the children to grow up and learn significant lessons about racism and prejudice.

 

One important thing they left out in the movie was the chapter about Mrs. Dubose. Everytime Jem and Scout passed the porch of Mrs. Dubose house, this is what they thought of her, “Jem and I hated her. If she was on the porch when we passed, we would be raked by her wrathful gaze, subjected to ruthless interrogation regarding our behavior, and given a melancholy prediction on what we would amount to when we grew up, which was always nothing.” After a while Jem gets really mad at her and as a punishment, Atticus requires him to read to Mrs. Dubose everyday after school. Mrs. Dubose was addicted to morphine and because Jem was reading to her everyday, this caused her to go longer without morphine every time, so finally she could have a death without any morphine. This teaches Jem and Scout a lesson about courage, because Mrs. Dubose was suffering, but she still had the courage to get a morphine-free death. I think it would’ve been better if they left this part in because it’s a big part of Scout and Jem’s character development, since it is one of the many lessons that help shape Scout and Jem as a person.

 

Another big thing the movie left out was a thing that happened in the courtroom. In the book Calpurnia storms into the courtroom while Tom Robinson’s case was going on, she says that Jem and Scout are missing. Atticus tells them to go home and that they are allowed to come back after lunch. In the movie this didn’t happen at all and it was like Atticus already knew the children were in the courtroom the whole time. I think it would have been better if they left this part in because it showed that Atticus wanted to protect the children from the anger, racism and prejudice in Maycomb, but then after he sees them in the courtroom realizes they can’t be protected from it, so he lets them come back after lunch and watch the end of the trial.

 

A significant thing they left out is the part where Cecil Jacobs jokily attacked Scout and Jem. This attack was actually foreshadowing to the real attack by Mr. Ewell, but they did not keep it in the movie. I think it would have been better if they included it, because this foreshadowing really shows how an innocent, joking attack could actually happen in real life and turn out fatal. When they were walking home from the play and they heard the sound they did mention that it is probably Cecil Jacobs, but it would have still been better if they left it in because in my opinion it is a important part of the book, that again, teaches Scout and Jem more lessons that help shape their future selves.
In conclusion, I think that it is true that you should read the book first and then watch the movie, because it allows you to see the differences between both of them and understand the moral of the story better. In the To Kill A Mockingbird movie some things were left out, but not that much that it alters the moral.

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Journal Entry #5 Morals and Dilemmas

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Scout, Jem and Dill, the main children of the story live in a world full of prejudice based around race, class, age, and gender. Since they are still children and have not entered the adult world yet, they do not understand why everyone is treating people differently based on all of these factors, they just see everyone equally and want everyone treated the same, you can see this with Jem, after Tom Robinson lost the trial he was really mad and confused and did not want to harm even insects and wanted to see and treat all live on earth equally. I think the world would be a much better place if everyone had the same mindset as Scout, Jem and Dill. Much of history’s cruel things would not have happened and their would probably be peace all over the world. If we have similar dilemmas in our own live I think we should use the children’s mindset and see everyone exactly the same.
I think a important moral To Kill A Mockingbird teaches us that we can adopt in our own life is Atticus’s advice of seeing things from other people’s skin, this way people can understand each other better and help come up with solutions and not get into arguments or fights, which could result in horrible things like the unfair trial of Tom Robinson. I think another moral the character’s offer us is, to be yourself and to break the “rules” of society, for example Scout who is a tomboy was expected to grow up to be a lady even though she did not want to grow up that way. In Maycomb around that time everyone just followed the stereotypes with a very few exceptions. Finally, one of the most important morals of the book is having justice for everyone and not “to kill a mockingbird” like Tom Robinson or other innocent people. All of these morals we can adopt and modify into our own lives. The one thing most character’s in Maycomb do is prejudice, everyone should reject prejudice from their lives.

Writing from a different perspective

It is around 9:30 p.m., I am about to leave my house to check on Tom Robinson, I know something is going to happen to him. “I’m going out for a while,” I said. “You folks’ll be in bed when I come back, so I’ll say good night now.” I got a long electrical extension cord with a light bulb, I wanted to bring light to the cell so I could see Tom Robinson, have light to read, and for if other people would come.

I arrived at the jail and connected the electrical extension cord on the second floor going through a window so I could have light outside since the prison does not have a light. I was expecting a group of people to come bother Tom Robinson so I wanted to protect him, Mr. Heck Tate also got my back. I suddenly hear the sound of a couple of cars, I look up from my newspaper and see cars coming towards me, I was expecting something like this. Men are starting coming out of the cars. I know what they want, they are a lynch mob, and they want to kill Tom Robinson just skipping the trial altogether. I recognize one of them, It is Walter Cunningham, a man I helped a while ago since he could not pay back in money. I clearly see that Walter is one of the leaders of the mob since he addressed me first and he is in the front. I see that they are farmers because of their overalls and denim shirts buttoned up to the collars, it’s the old Sarum bunch.

I am afraid, but I don’t want to show it, “You can turn around and go home again, Walter,” I told Mr. Cunningham “Heck Tate’s around somewhere.” I add to convince him of leaving, since I know Heck Tate got me covered. “Heck’s bunch’s so deep in the woods they won’t get out till mornin‘.” he said. After hearing this I just remained calm, “that changes things, doesn’t it?” I asked, “It do,” came from another deep voice in the shadow. Suddenly, I see my daughter coming out of nowhere, at this moment I felt real fear for a couple of seconds since I did not want her to get hurt, a couple moments later I see Jem and Dill coming as well. I am disappointed in them, but I don’t blame them since they are still kids. I tell them to go home, but they don’t, I’m standing face to face with Jem who isn’t scared to state his point, which is “i’m not going home”.

Scout seems to notice a familiar face in the mob, “Hey, Mr. Cunningham.” she said. Walter isn’t responding. FInally after she keeps talking to Walter and asking him to say hi to his son he responds with, “I’ll tell him you said hey, little lady,”. Now Walter instructs the men to leave, I understand why they are leaving, when you start to expose the individual identities of a mob it starts to lose it’s power since the people in the mob are no longer anonymous. After they left I turned to a wall and started crying and I was extremely relieved. I am thankful for Scout helping to get the men to leave, but I’m still disappointed that they could have gotten themselves harmed or even killed.

Journal Entry Four: Morphine Overdose

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In To Kill A Mockingbird Mrs. Dubose was addicted to morphine. Mrs. Dubose wanted Jem to read her books 6 days a week for two hours. This caused her to slowly become less addicted and have a normal death. Morphine overdose can cause death, but the amount of Morphine you need to take in to die from it depends on the person’s body. When someone is already taking morphine they need to take a lot more morphine to die from it then a person who has never used it.

When you have a morphine overdose the patient becomes very tired, stops talking and eventually becomes unresponsive. This is something we saw when Jem was reading to her and she became really unresponsive and didn’t really listen. Having too much morphine is really unhealthy since you can easily get addicted and your body starts to get used to it.

Journal Entry Three: Difference Between Negro, Nigger, Nigga, Colored, Black, African-American

Negro, Nigger, Nigga, Colored, Black, and African-American in reality all mean a black person, but these words are still very different. One of the big differences of these different terms is how “offensive” the word is. One of the least “offensive” of these terms would be colored or African-American and the most “offensive” would be nigger or nigga.

Now what do these words actually mean. Around the 1930s when the Jim Crow laws existed there were a lot of signs that said colored, on the oxford dictionary the definition of person of color is: A person who is not white or of European parentage, this made me wonder about ethnicities like asian, if they would be considered “colored”. From what I can infer in the 1930s colored just meant a black person, but I think they tried to say it in a less offensive way.

Then there is African-American, according to the oxford dictionary this means: A black American. So again this term is very similar to the other ones, but it’s one of the least offensive ones. The term “negro” was commonly used around the 1930s against black people, you can see this in To Kill A Mockingbird. It means: A member of a dark-skinned group of peoples originally native to Africa south of the Sahara. A lot of people think the word “Afro-American” is the only historically accurate and humanly significant designation of this large portion of the American population. A lot of people agree with that the word “Negro” is an inaccurate term which maintains the master-slave mentality in the minds of both black and white Americans.

Americans of African descent have been arguing about names ever since they were forcibly transported from Africa by Europeans who arbitrarily branded them “Blackamoors,” “Moors,” and “negros.” The English word “Negro” is based of the Spanish and Portuguese word negro. The Portuguese and Spanish named the African men and women whom they captured this. Within a short time, the Portuguese word negro became the English noun-adjective “negro.” This word was not capitalized at first, it integrated not only humanity, nationality and place of origin but also certain white judgements about the inherent inferiority of the persons so designated. The word also referred to certain Jim Crow places.

The most offensive term of all these terms is “nigger” or “nigga”. On oxford dictionary, nigger is described as: A contemptuous term for a black or dark-skinned person. And is labeled as offensive. Today, the term “nigga” is used a lot in hip-hop music, Some African-Americans don’t find it offensive if they call each other that term, but do find it offensive when a non African-American calls them that, primarily because it is seen as really offensive and because of the complex history between the races.

Journal Entry Two: Economic Differences and Socioeconomic Status In The 1930s

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In the great depression, there was not much money and also not much food. There were different families with all different incomes. In To Kill A Mockingbird you can see this with Walter, one day he did not have any food and his teacher Miss Caroline offered him a quarter to buy lunch, he declined this offer since he knew he wasn’t going to be able to pay her back. This example shows that a lot of families had a different kind of income and even though there were some more wealthy families the majority didn’t have a lot of money because of The Great Depression.

The great depression caused many families to lose a significant amount of their income, in 1933 the average family income dropped to $1,500, in 1929 this amount was $2,300 meaning that the average family income had fallen by 40%. Millions of families also lost their savings after banks collapsed in the 1930s. Unable to pay rent, many families got evicted from their homes and their apartments.

All of this is evident in the book. Since Atticus is a lawyer, the Finch family has enough money to buy food and live relatively normally. Other families, for example, the Cunningham’s have a harder time, since Walter did not have lunch at school and Walter’s father could not pay back Atticus in real money. The fact that the Ewell’s only go to school one day a year might also be because of their socioeconomic status; they maybe have to work instead of going to school.

The Great Depression caused many more things, marriage rates declined, and the trend towards decreased birth rates, accelerated in the 1930s. Surprisingly, the divorcing rates declined, this seems to have been largely the consequence of the inability to pay lawyers’ fees; Many families suffered from malnutrition and inadequate clothing, this also resulted in 250000 youths being on the road searching for work or better conditions.

Journal Entry One: Fights With Friends

 

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Personally, I believe that it depends on how big the fight is whether you remain friends or not, I think most fights don’t end friendships since I have fights with my friends everyday but they are not really big fights. One of the things that I believe could end a friendship is if a friend is being dishonest with you or betrays you, sometimes friends or also fake friends which you definitely do not want. Most fights have something to do with trust. An example would be if a friend cheats with another friends boyfriend/girlfriend, or if a friend would share rumors that could ruin another’s friend reputation. How about if a friend makes fun of you in front of other people and you feel a burning inside of you that makes you hate that person for the way they made you feel. Lastly, if you trusted a friend with a very important secret and they told other people. All of these types of fights could potentially ruin a friendship because the other person could never trust that friend again. Honesty is a huge factor that I value in a friend, as well as loyalty.

Atticus not viewing the insults he receives for defending Tom Robinson as reason enough to end any friendships says that he is hard headed and that he won’t throw away a friendship for name calling. In this way Atticus sets a good example for Scout on how to keep self control, “It was the first time I ever walked away from a fight. Somehow, if I fought Cecil I would let Atticus down.” said Scout.

If I found a friends or family members views abhorrent, I would now do as Atticus does, and not view it as enough reason to end any relationships. I would respect their views and just try not to talk about those views and stay positive. At the end of the day everyone is allowed to have their own views about different situations. Being able to control your feelings and words while still contributing to the conversation will help to keep friendships and not hurt other people. If people could just remember these few things the world would be a much nicer place with less hate.

Journal Entry Two

Journal Entry Three

Journal Entry Four

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian Review – Sherman Alexie’s down-to-earth and adventurous novel lifting Bildungsroman to another level

Sherman Alexie excellently describes a story inspired by his life of Arnold Spirit struggling to overcome his challenges as a Native-American in Wellpinit.

This book is not Sherman Alexie’s debut about Native-Americans; the Spokane tribe member wrote books like “The Toughest Indian In The World, Indian Killer, and Reservation Blues.” Having so much experience you can see that Alexie knows what he is talking about, describing the experiences of Arnold perfectly with a lot of detail. If Alexie had not gone through similar experiences as Arnold, he probably would not have delivered such a realistic portrayal in the book.

In The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian, Arnold is left with a difficult decision, hope or home, he chooses hope although it has its consequences, most of his tribe members don’t let him get away with impunity since they see leaving as a betrayal. Arnold discovers new things about himself and his ethnicity, he loses relationships and creates new ones, and he finds incredible willpower. You can see the willpower since he enrolled in a new school and had an unquestionably rough beginning. Arnold, at the start inexperienced and unaware of discrimination against Indians, transformed a lot during this tale. He was unaware of what’s going on in the world around him and only knows life as it is on the rez, his family has a low socio-economic status which impacts him a lot, and he gets beaten up because of his appearance.

Throughout the 30 chapters, every chapter is essential, whether it is a flashback or a basketball match, this is because every chapter keeps telling you more things about Arnold and his life, Some chapters help to move the story along and some help you understand the story better. When I was reading the chapters in the book it felt like it was comprehensive and easy to read.
There is an outstanding balance between the humorous parts and the emotional parts, there is not too much of either one of them making it an excellent book to read for multiple audiences. A lot of people don’t like books that are filled with only emotions or only humor, Alexie did an outstanding job balancing both of these factors.

There is an interesting mix of personalities in this book. There is Mary, Arnold’s older sister who likes to write romance novels but is too afraid to share it with anyone else. There is Rowdy, who is aggressive, and if someone does something to him, he does it back ten times worse. You also have Arnold’s dad, who says he’s only an “alcoholic when he’s drunk.” Arnold, at the start, is trapped in a way similar to Esperanza in Sandra Cisneros’s novel, The House On Mango Street; in both books the character got trapped because of ethnical background and socioeconomic status, they both want to achieve great things and not end up like their family.

This paragraph is about money, class and socioeconomic status, an important theme for coming-of-age. At the start, Arnold is aware of his family’s socioeconomic status but doesn’t know how to deal with it, “My parents came from poor people who came from poor people who came from poor people,” he explains, “all the way back to the very first poor people.” Arnold struggles with this problem a lot, for example, when his dog was on the edge of dying, his parents couldn’t afford to bring the dog to a veterinarian, on the other hand, bullets were cheap. For Arnold, poverty is an inherited condition and not a choice, for him it is something incredibly hard to overcome. In his new school, he tries to pretend to be middle class, not telling anyone that he’s poor and not showing any signs of being poor. He doesn’t want people to classify him as low-class.

Cultural and racial background is a theme commonly used in coming-of-age. In the book Arnold talks with his teacher Mr. P, at one point in the conversation, Mr. P says “We were trying to kill Indian culture” this is when Arnold realized about all the discrimination against Native-Americans. There were many moments where you can see the discrimination; the white dentist thought they only felt half the pain, and in Reardan (his new school), at the start, the kids see Arnold as an alien. After changing schools, Arnold feels too white for the reservation and too Indian for Reardan. He wants everyone from the reservation to get out of there, but he knows he is the only one from his reservation “brave and crazy enough.” At the end he recognizes himself as a part of many tribes such as the “tribe of cartoonists“ and the “tribe of poverty.”

The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-time Indian is a book full of humor, emotion, and hope that is packed together profoundly. Alexie doesn’t try to be cliche since he has his own style of coming-of-age and doesn’t copy someone else’s style. When I was reading this book, I felt like it was something written from the heart, something truly authentic. All of these things make it an impeccable novel.

Biloxi Reaction

The article “Why did Biloxi pull ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ from the 8th-grade lesson plan?” written by Karen Nelson, published on the website sunherald.com is about banning To Kill A Mockingbird from the school curriculum. To Kill A Mockingbird, an American classic taught in 8th grade English Language Arts classes got banned last week, because there were complains about the wording in the book which made some readers feel uncomfortable. The book is still in the school’s library but won’t be used in the 8th-grade curriculum anymore. In my opinion it was unnecessary to ban the novel just because of some words that offended a few people.

 
I think people get offended too quickly and are overprotective. If there is language that makes some readers feel uncomfortable, I think it gives a stronger message than if it wouldn’t be there. It would be more accurate with that language, because it’s not hiding reality.  “Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it” by Mark Twain is a quote I completely agree with. I agree with this quote because if a book is getting banned because of some profanity, which might be offensive for some people and smaller children, other people shouldn’t be prevented from reading it. For everyone getting “offended” is different, so why would a school change the curriculum because of a few people getting offended by the language in a book. I find it really strange that a few people can change a whole curriculum. An 8th grade teacher described the book like this ““Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior.” I can identify with this teacher, because other books might not have the same moral or give the same message.

 

Banning books is not going along with freedom of speech and press, which are both part of the first amendment. Writers shouldn’t have their work getting banned, the same goes for any artist. Writing, making music, and other things like that are a way to express yourself, your opinions, and your emotions, and it’s not fair if that right gets taken away from you because people are banning your books. It’s extraordinary that a book that won awards and was turned into a Oscar-winning film got banned. “A Southern gothic novel, it was published in 1960, won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction the next year and was adapted into an Oscar-winning film in 1962.” is a quote from the article.

I think people have to be careful with hiding banned books from children, because allowing them to read banned books makes them more aware of the world’s issues and different perspectives. It’s dangerous to withhold information from them because it keeps them narrow-minded. “In 2017, we can read what we like but there is a different kind of censorship in operation, not coming from the state but from an outraged public. We really need to be aware and wary of it and we’re not, sufficiently.” is a quote from this article about banned books week, I agree with this because in the present more challenged books are coming from outraged individuals who get “offended” by the book. We should stop banning books at all and give artists freedom of speech and press.

 
In conclusion, the school shouldn’t have banned it from the curriculum or have changed the curriculum because of a few people. If someone that has to read a certain book for school get’s offended by it, I think they should just ask the teacher for a different book to read or not get offended that easily. They should practice self-censorship and get to know what they can handle.

Hard Work Pays Off

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Hard work pays off is something many people told me. If you toil every day, you succeed at things you thought were impossible. I have read several stories consisting of successful individuals who wake up at 3:00 A.M. doing workouts and sending emails. A big percentage of people on earth are too lazy to toil and just stay in bed until the last minute and press the snooze button ten times (which I usually do too).

An excellent example of a person who worked incredibly hard and succeeded is Abraham Lincoln. He lost eight elections, but he kept going. After those eight elections, he got elected president. This example shows that after you fail so many times and get rejected every time, you can still succeed with hard work. To become the best version of yourself, you will have to toil every day, 24/7, no matter what!

I try to work a lot in my life as well, every day I try to produce music for at least 30 minutes, even if I don’t feel like doing it. Usually, after working on it for 30 minutes, I get a creativity boost, and I can keep going for hours. I think this applies to everyone, it is hard getting started, but after a while, you can keep going forever. One of the most motivating questions you can ask yourself is “What are you doing right now to achieve your goal?”

This story might start to feel like a motivational speech, but I will give you one challenge for today, when you get home set one goal for yourself it can be anything you want. Make sure it is something you want, something you enjoy doing and something that you will be able to do for hours and hours. Once you set this goal challenge yourself to do it as much as possible every day, I would say 80% of your free time. If you do this, you will start to succeed incredibly fast.

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