Joy Luck Club

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Elizabeth Helbling
Kessler
English 10 CP
1 February 2013
Comparative Essay: TKAM, TJLC, Uglies
“Conventional behavior is not always moral.” Conventional behavior is any behavior considered “normal” and “right” for a given environment or society as a whole. Moral behavior is any behavior that one person considers and believes is right and wrong, which can contradict the thoughts of the society’s conventional behavior. In each book, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Joy Luck Club, and Uglies, there was some sort of struggle that made some of the characters oppose what was considered conventional. Atticus, Jing Mei-Woo, and Tally all went against the conventional behaviors of their towns and in Jing Mei- Woo’s case, her family, and followed their own morals. Just like in today’s society, anything out of the “normal” is looked at with a bad connotation, which is what happened to each of these characters. Atticus, Jing Mei- Woo, and Tally all believed their moral behavior was right as opposed to the conventional behavior surrounding them.

To Kill a Mockingbird was set in the South back in the day when racism was even more of an issue than it is today, especially instances dealing with the law. Atticus, a white lawyer, decided to defend Tom Robinson, an African- American male. From not only the townspeople, but from his own kids repeating what other school children called him, Atticus never heard the end of it. It was very usual to assume any African American was guilty before even hearing what a case was about. Although, Atticus’s morals differed greatly from that of the town’s, he did not let that ever get in the way of his decision to defend Tom Robinson.

In The Joy Luck Club, Jing- Mei Woo grew up in a completely different environment then her mother. Her mother grew up in China, in a society where you did everything you were told, no questions asked. Jing Mei- Woo was raised in the United States, where family life and discipline differs greatly from China....
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