Of the following books, which would be best to write a standard essay (3 body paragraphs, 2 concrete details each with separate but somehow connectedideas) about ONE character who overcomes...

Of the following books, which would be best to write a standard essay (3 body paragraphs, 2 concrete details each with separate but somehow connected

ideas) about ONE character who overcomes hardship and misfortune? And how would I go about setting the essay up?

-To Kill a Mockingbird


-Pretty Little Liars

-Just Listen

-Lock and Key

Expert Answers
Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with lmetcalf, absolutely any novel you mentioned would work fine.  Let me throw out another idea so you have some to choose from.  How about Boo Radley in  To Kill a Mockingbird?  You could easily make a case that Boo has overcome hardship and misfortune.  Your three body paragraphs could revolve around Boos triumph over physical hardship, emotional hardship, and social hardship (in that order going from least to greatest importance).  There are plenty of supports of the novel, many of them involve Scout and Jem, of course.

Just another bit of info to help with your body paragraphs.  In regards to physical hardship, you could make a case that Boo doesn't feel able, physically, to go outside related to agoraphobia.  Emotional hardship would involve proving that the relationships in Boo's life have been skewed enough to where he could not function normally in the world.  Finally, the easiest paragraph to write, would involve proving how Scout and Jem succeeded in nixing Boo's social hardship with the final result of becoming actual friends and frequent visitors.

Of course, there are a million different essay topics that would work fine with this novel.  The one above is just off the top of my head.  Just to end with a final brainstorm if you aren't required to write about that exact "hardship and misfortune" topic. ... You could also create a wonderful essay about racism, childhood issues, southern hospitality, different forms of abuse, etc.  Good luck with this endeavour!

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think any of these novels would work.  The book that has, at its heart, the most hardship and misfortune is Night, which might make that an excellent choice for this assignment.  You could talk about the horrors of the Holocaust in general and create a thesis statement about that, and then use the experiences of Wiesel as the evidence for your main points.  What are three aspects of the tragedy?  How do we see those in Wiesel's memoir?  Your conclusion could then discuss what Wiesel was ultimately trying to convey through his writing of this book.

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Just a few other ideas from "To Kill a Mockingbird". You could write about Atticus Finch, the father character. He has many hardships through out the novel: his wife has died and left him to raise the two children alone, he is looked down upon by many of the town folk because he defends a black man against a white woman, and he must struggle between doing what he knows is right and protecting his children.
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
NIGHT is the best example of overcoming hardship by surviving it. I have not read the last three, but I cannot think of a better example. I would set the essay up by identifying the traits that helped Wiesel survive. You can then combine these into a theme and base your essay around it.