Help writing an essay on justiceHi. For my 1000 word essay, I need to write about: In what ways do composers of texts explore ideas about Justice? In you response refer to one film (Dead Man...

Help writing an essay on justice

Hi. For my 1000 word essay, I need to write about:

In what ways do composers of texts explore ideas about Justice?

In you response refer to one film (Dead Man Walking) and one novel (To kill a Mockingbird).

For my essay structure, I want an introduction, 3 body paragraphs and a conclusion. However, I am not sure what to base each of the 3 body paragraphs on. Different types of justice, perhaps? (e.g social justice, moral justice). Are there any ideas that could strengthen my essay, as to what I can base my 3 body paragraphs on?

Thank you. For any other details, please ask.

Asked on by gandhi13

7 Answers | Add Yours

e-martin's profile pic

e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Another type of justice, more figurative than the others discussed, is poetic justice. Perhaps this is akin to moral justice, but there is an added idea of karma or "getting what you give". 

An example in this novel is found in Bob Ewell's demise. When he attempts to harm two innocent children in the dark of night, he ends up being killed himself by a bystander who comes to the rescue. Ewell's vices lead directly to his death and his punishment, ultimately, has the poetic justice of fitting his crime.

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think your best bet is to find a strong theme that you can connect both the movie and novel into. Then, you can explore how the theme is developed differently and similarly in both the film and the novel, including specific quotations and examples for each one.
wannam's profile pic

wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

You may want to make a comparison/contrast chart. place the film and the novel across the top of the chart and the points of interest down the side. You might want to compare the treatment of the men by the townspeople. How does this show justice (or injustice)? You might want to questions specific things that occured in the courtroom. For instance, Atticus clearly shows that Tom couldn't have hit Mayella because his hand is damaged. The jury takes no notice of this fact in their decision. Tom is convicted even though Atticus can show Tom wasn't likely to have commited the crime. You could also compare the idea of justice as seen by the different characters. Atticus clearly sees the outcome of the trail as injust, however, the townspeople would not agree. They certainly felt that the conviction was justice.
bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Obviously, both the film and the novel concern black men who have been unjustly convicted of crimes they did not commit. You may want to explore some aspects of how once a man is convicted, how difficult it is to convince a second judge or jury to overturn the conviction. Sadly, American prosecutors do not want to admit when they are wrong (the film Conviction also comes to mind), even when incontrovertible evidence is presented to prove the innocence of the accused. Prosecutors, it seems, are paid to convict the accused at all costs, and many do not bother to ask themselves if the man is innocent or not.

mlsiasebs's profile pic

mlsiasebs | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

ONe thing that I think helps make a strong essay is to compare and contrast issues between the movie and the book rather than looking at an issue in just the movie or just the book.  For each body paragraph, pick one idea and discuss it rather than bringing up multiple issues per paragraph.

gandhi13's profile pic

gandhi13 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

In reply to #2: Hi. Thanks for the reply. My question says 'in what ways' does the composer portray justice. If i contrasted themes of justice in the book, wha ways were these portayed in, and how? E.g techniques?

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