Thesis - To Kill a Mockingbird and MarigoldsI am doing a comparitive essay  and i need to write a thesis on the theme... Theme: Both "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee and "Marigolds" by...

Thesis - To Kill a Mockingbird and Marigolds

I am doing a comparitive essay  and i need to write a thesis on the theme...

Theme: Both "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee and "Marigolds" by Eugina Collier reveals that one becomes an adult after he/she gains compassion, wisdom, and seeing new points of view through experiences in their life.

I came up with this so far...

Achieving compassion, wisdom, and the ability to see further diverse perspectives through life experiences allows one to mature into a well respected adult.


Expert Answers
Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One thing you might note is that you have inadvertently changed the dynamic of the situation by your paraphrase. The addition of the verbs "achieve" and "allow" modify the meaning. The original statement be restated as:

life experience ==> produces compassion/views etc ==> resulting in adulthood

The new verbs, which have these meanings,

achieve: success in a set goal attained through willful determination and against difficulty

allow: to let happen; to permit, as a prior claimant or authority; to remove impediments

change the initial cause by introducing a set goal. The set goal is to become compassionate with a broader point of view etc. The secondary cause is then also changed. Attaining the set goal is said to "allow," to permit, to let you become an adult. The restatement of your paraphrase would be like this:

consciously setting goal of compassion etc + willfully attaining the goal of compassion etc ==> through experience ==> permits adulthood

The import has been changed; it is no longer experience inadvertently/unconsciously producing compassion etc and resulting in adulthood.

It is now that consciously setting a goal to attain compassion etc through experience removes the barriers to being an adult--lets you be adult. Adulthood is no longer the natural result of compassion which is the natural result of life's hard knocks. Adulthood is now the possible path permitted after consciously striving to acquire compassion etc. It is a natural result in the first versus a conscious goal and choice in the second.

If you need a thesis that proves the first, you might write something like: Life experience reveals other person's hardships thus inspiring the blossoming of compassion etc that is the true hallmark of an adult. This way, your volition and your goals and your choices are still left out of the equation for adulthood as they are in the first: adulthood ==> natural result ==> compassion etc ==> adulthood naturally grown out of experience.

As an aside, it is possible that both original statements (the first and your paraphrase) may mean to say something different, but this is what they do say and this is how they are different, and they are different because of the two verbs "achieve" and "allow."

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Does Scout become a well-respected adult in To Kill a Mockingbird? She matures and does achieve a broader perspective on life in Maycomb by encountering a diversity of other perspectives, but, in my view, she remains a child in the end. 

I might suggest adjusting the thesis statement to be a bit less specific in terms of the "end point" of the characters' maturity. Scout is on the path to becoming an adult by virtue of her experiences, but she is not an adult yet.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If that theme is your prompt, you have basically just rewritten the prompt in a different order. You might want to consider paring this down into a more specific thesis that does not simply parrot the prompt.  Unless, of course, your teacher has taught you to do it this way.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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