To Kill a Mockingbird Essay + Related Text (My Name Is Khan)

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Morality, Harper Lee Pages: 5 (2029 words) Published: February 21, 2013
Justice is a complex matter affecting issues in all contexts of our society; it can affect both the individual and society at large. Justice can be defined in 2 different ways; there is moral justice and legal justice, moral is the right to being treated fairly by society, regardless of skin, religion or disability and legal being defined as the actions taken when the moral code has been broken. For example, in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ written Harper Lee and ‘My Name is Khan’ directed by Karan Johar, both protagonists fight against the injustices in their societies based on an individual injustice and through this they have a massive impact on their community at large. Both ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and ‘My Name is Khan’, tackle issues of injustices in their societies on the basis of skin colour and religion. Similarly they are both set in idealic white dominated suburban towns in the U.S and have to deal with the same level of prejudice, despite the completely different time frames. In ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, the story is based on the trial of an innocent black man, Tom Robinson and his defendant, Atticus Finch. This ground-breaking novel Is set in the ‘tired old town called Macomb’ in the early 1940’s and it is written from the perspective of Atticus’s youngest daughter, Scout, who witness events which shake the very core beliefs of the individuals around her and her wider community. Also, in the movie ‘My Name is Khan’ directed by Karan Johar, the story is surrounded by the issues raised after the 9/11 attacks and how this affects one disabled Muslim Indian man. He takes a challenge to speak to the President seriously, and embarks on a on a crusade across all of America in order to end religious prejudice. The protagonist, Khan, has Asperger’s syndrome, however in the movie, it is ironic that even though he cannot cope with physical love or touch, he still manages to inspire a nation through his own inner morals, hope and compassion. When dealing with injustices in our world, it is the most innocent and naïve of individuals whose perceptions of society enables them to see prejudice more clearly. In ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and ‘My Name is Khan’, both protagonists, Khan and Scout have similar childlike views on the world and this aids in their ability to see the injustices in their societies more clearly than those who have succumbed to the idealistic pressures of their own communities. For example, Scout is a young girl whose growing maturity throughout the book enables her to begin to understand the inequality and racism that suffocates her town. We see this growth when Scout promises Atticus that she wouldn’t fight the boys at school just because they had offended her and her family, ‘I was far too old and too big for such childish things, the sooner I learned to hold in, the better off everyone would be’. The idea of growing up is challenged in this line as growing up also means growing in; putting up walls of self-control is simply another milestone to cross before you reach maturity. Correspondingly, Khan, is a middle aged man who suffers from Aspergers syndrome however, this allows him to view the world in a refreshingly open minded way which drastically contrasts with his racist neighbours and friends. It is set in the months following 9/11 and when tragically, his son is murdered because of Khan's Muslim religion, and his wife, a Hindu, blames him. Kahn then goes on a crusade across America to meet the president and tell him ‘My name is khan, I am not a terrorist’, this sparks the nation’s interest and soon his individual story inspires a nation. This motif that runs throughout the movie and highlights the devastating effect that the racism affects Kahn, the more and more he repeats this line, the more and more we begin to understand the effect this injustice has on him. Kahn’s ability understand how prejudiced his society is stems from his mother’s teachings and morals, we see this highlighted in the scene,...
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