To Kill a Mockingbird Contrast Essay

Recently in class, we read the book To Kill a Mockingbird. After each chapter, we did an assignment to summarize the chapter in detail. Once we finished the book, we watched the movie, and then we took notes on what was different between the two sources. Here is my compare and contrast essay of both the book and the movie, To Kill a Mockingbird. 


“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” This quote was a major theme in Harper Lee’s novel To Kill A Mockingbird. To Kill A Mockingbird is about a girl named Scout who faces different challenges in her life. Scout’s father, Atticus, is chosen to defend a black man who was accused of raping a white girl. During the time of the book, racism was a big problem in the United States. The book and the movie were very different when it comes to certain details. When I compared the book and the movie, I noticed that in the movie, the Finch family wasn’t introduced, the kids never matured, Mrs. Dubose’s story was omitted,  and many details were changed about Bob Ewell, Tom Robinson’s death, and Arthur “Boo” Radley. I didn’t enjoy the movie To Kill A Mockingbird as much as the book because it left out many key points; I liked the book better because it had more detail to the story, it was easier to understand, and it had many events going on instead of just one.

The first difference that I noticed after reading the book and watching the movie, was that in the movie, the Finch family was never introduced. In the novel, Scout and Jem’s Aunt Alexandra came to live with them, and she wanted her family to become more sophisticated. Alexandra made the kids act the way a Finch should. In the book, Alexandra made Atticus talk to his children on how to behave; when he did, he realized that he didn’t do the right thing, and he told his kids to forget about the conversation.  Instead of judging people individually, Alexandra judged people on their family backgrounds. Also, in the movie, Uncle Jack and his family never visited Atticus and his children during Christmas. In the book, Uncle Jack heard Scout say curse words, and he taught her that it isn’t okay to say words like that; especially towards her second cousin, Francis, who told Scout that her father was a “nigger lover.” Both Scout and Jem matured in the book with their attitudes, but in the movie, they were always the same little kids. Scout noticed that in Boo watched Jem and her grow up throughout the years and the seasons. I think that the writers of the movie chose to leave the family out because it would’ve made the movie longer, and it would’ve been harder to follow with all of the extra scenes.

Another difference that I noticed between the movie and the book was that the topic of courage never really showed up. In the book, Jem got annoyed with Mrs. Dubose, and he completely destroyed her camellias. His punishment was that he had to read to her everyday after school for a month. Scout joined him, and they left whenever they heard the bell ring. Jem complained to Atticus about what he had to do, but Atticus said that he would’ve made Jem read to Mrs. Dubose even if he didn’t destroy her camellias because he wanted Jem to see something. After Jem read to Mrs. Dubose for a month, he realized that he was actually helping her. When the bell rang, it was time for Mrs. Dubose to take her medication. Jem’s reading distracted Mrs. Dubose from needing her morphine. Mrs. Dubose had an addiction to her medication, and she wanted to quit her addiction before she died. Mrs. Dubose passed away without an addiction to morphine, and Atticus was glad that Jem got to witness her courage.

The third and final main difference that I noticed between the movie and the book was that there were many details changed throughout the story. We didn’t learn much about Boo Radley in the movie because the movie was based more on the trial. This made Boo a minor character in the story that the directors were portraying. Many scenes about Boo were taken out of the movie; such as the kids putting a note in his window with a fish pole, the kids never reenacted the scene of Boo scrapbooking, and the suspense leading up to Boo’s appearance was less intense. The movie also never really explained why people were afraid of him. The writers of the movie left out the entire scene showing Boo’s kindness towards the children. In the book, it was winter, and everyone was warming up their houses by lighting fires. Miss Maudie’s house burned down, and Atticus told his children to stand outside, right in front of the Radley yard. They weren’t allowed to move, but when Atticus returned, Scout had a blanket wrapped around her. Later in the book, we found out that Boo Radley put the blanket around Scout because it was cold outside. After Miss Maudie’s house burned down, she didn’t really care, and she showed selflessness. She cared more about others than she did about herself. Since Boo was a minor character in the movie, the writers made Bob Ewell a major character. They added scenes of Mr. Ewell in the movie; such as him peeking at Jem in the car at Helen Robinson’s house, and him admitting to Atticus that he knew that Atticus thought that Tom Robinson was an innocent man. During the trial, details were also changed. In the book, the raping took place on November twenty-first, but in the movie, it happened on August twenty-first. After Tom Robinson was proven to be guilty, details changed about his death. Instead of him being shot seventeen times on purpose, he was shot once, as a warning in the movie. Also, Tom was killed on the way to jail instead of being killed while trying to escape jail. I think it was odd that the date of the raping changed, but I don’t understand why the writers of the movie would take out some important events with all of these people. By doing this, the movie had many themes missing in it.

Even though the To Kill A Mockingbird book and movie were very different, they had some similarities too. We learned about many themes from both of these sources; such as racism, bravery, and inequality. Just like today, the characters in the book were divided into upper, middle and lower classes. There were the white people, who were average; the white trash, who were in the lower white class; and the black people, who were all considered trash. We learn about bravery from when Atticus shot Tim Johnson, the dog who had rabies. Atticus didn’t like the idea of shooting any living things, but he was brave enough to shoot the dog, so he could save his people. When it comes to racism, nobody liked the black people, except for Dolphus Raymond. During the trial, when Atticus was defending Tom, Atticus really believed that Tom was innocent, and he tried to get the jury to forget about his race and have them listen to the truth. I enjoyed both the movie and the book of To Kill A Mockingbird, but I preferred the book because it teaches us about many more characteristics and themes that were relevant to the story.  

I Am Slave

In school, we watched a movie called I Am Slave. This movie was about a girl named Malia who was enslaved at age twelve and escaped at age eighteen. When she was first enslaved, she worked for a cruel mistress in London, England, but then she was sent to live with the mistress’s cousin when she got older. Malia always tried contacting the outside world, and she didn’t stop fighting for her freedom. Malia knew that one day, she would be reunited with her family, and that is exactly what happened.

The Jewish holiday, Passover, is coming up, and that is why we recently watched this movie. It reminded us of the slavery that still goes on to this day. Passover is all about the slaves in Egypt that fought for their freedom, and they were eventually freed. After we watched the movie, we sang the following blessing: “Praised are you Adonai our G-d ruler of the universe who makes me free.” We say this blessing every morning when we pray, and we should be thankful that we are free.

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How Should You Be Remembered?

When I pass away, I want people to remember me as a good person. I want people to know that I care for others, I’m energetic, I’m friendly, and I like to help people with things. I love that our middle school goes out on Fridays to help out the community because I really feel like we make a big difference. I will never forget those experiences, and I want people to know that I did those things too. I hope that people remember me for the good and not for the bad. Everybody makes mistakes, but you can always put things like that behind you and focus on the good. Hopefully, many people will like me for being the good person that I am.

Matanot L’evyonim

On Friday, our middle school cooked and served breakfast to migrant tomato workers. They were going on a ten day tour to get businesses to sign up for the Fair Food Program. We were also celebrating Purim that day, so we incorporated a little bit of the holiday into the breakfast. Our Rabbi told the story of Purim, and there was a translator there to tell the workers the story in Spanish. After breakfast, we gave the workers hamantachen as a little Purim treat.

One of the workers told us their goal. They said that they are trying to get businesses that sell tomatoes to pay one more cent per pound, so they can pay their workers fairly. The Fair Food Program has already given them more freedom such as having breaks and allowing to pick tomatoes in the shade.

I feel that the tomato pickers are very determined to get businesses to sign up for their program, and they aren’t afraid to tell other people how they feel. They were all very grateful for what we did, and it looked like they had a good time.

A few months ago, our middle school went to Windy’s to try and get them to sign up for the program. They said that they’d consider it, and I’m really glad that we did something to help out. It was nice that we got to meet the people that we were helping, and they deserve every penny that they get.

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Photo Credits: and the picture was edited by me

The Ethical Treatment of Animals

On Friday, our middle school went to the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary. A wildlife sanctuary provides shelter for animals that are either abandoned, not cared for, or their owners have no license to own them. At the Catty Shack, they don’t buy, trade, or sell the animals, they only let people donate them. They also don’t breed the animals because they only take care of the ones that need a place to live.

There is a mitzvah called T’zar Ba’aley Chaim, the ethical treatment of animals. This means that you should treat animals with respect and care. Some things that you can’t do is abuse, starve, whip, endanger, or harm the animals.

The Catty Shack does follow the mitzvah of T’zar Ba’aley Chaim because they take good care of their animals. Their cages are a good size, they supply food for the animals everyday, they give water to the animals, they give the animals things to play with, and they don’t forcefully breed them. I think that the Catty Shack is a good place, and all of their volunteers care for the animals kindly.

Little Golden Lion Clip Art - Free Clip Art-1


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Life is Beautiful

On Friday, we watched a short video in school about this woman who is the oldest Holocaust survivor. She is 109 years old, and her secret to life is, “I see beauty everywhere.” For her to deal with being a survivor, she makes sure that she doesn’t forget the bad things, but she looks over them, so she can see good things. I think that she has an amazing look on life. Her attitude is so positive, and that is why she is probably living at the age she is. It’s said that the happier you are, the longer you live. This woman is someone that people should look up to because she loves living her life, and she doesn’t dwell on the bad and horrific memories.