Based on the novels that you have read, make a comparison between two prominent characters and highlight the differences. Support your answer with evidence from the text.
Based on the novel Step by Wicked Step by Anne Fine, the two prominent characters that I would like to compare is Colin and Richard Clayton Harwick.
The first difference that I would like to highlight is Colin loves his stepfather, Jack whom he calls dad as Colin himself never knew his real father and Jack has been with Colin since he was eight months old. Meanwhile, Richard hates his stepfather, Reverend Coldstone because he had made Richard’s life miserable by sending him to Mordanger School for four long years where he learnt nothing but how to starve, freeze and had been bullied and robbed of all his precious little tokens.
Next, Colin is loyal to his mother. Colin knew that his mother thought it was better that they are away from Jack since he does not have a job. Colin had stopped questioning his mother about Jack because he knows that his mother is always busy and does not have time for him. Meanwhile, Richard had broken his promise to his father about taking care of his mother, Lilith and his sister, Charlotte when he ran away. Richard had forgotten that his father had told him that “he is the man of the house and they will depend on him”.
On the other hand, Colin did not give up hope of finding his father, Jack. He wrote a letter and sends it to Jack although he does not know whether Jack would receive it or not. Meanwhile, Richard had given up on his family and did not try to have any contact with them because he thought they were happy without him.
Furthermore, Colin is a sentimental person. He thinks about Jack every single day and night. He would take out Jack’s tobacco tin and sniff it. Colin would also hum their favourite song, ‘The Bluebird of Happiness’ every night. Meanwhile, Richard didn’t think twice before running away because he assumed that his family would be happy when he is gone. On the other hand, Colin knew that he was young and doesn’t have enough money to go and try to find Jack. Therefore, he started to save money by selling newspapers and asking his mother for money instead of presents for his birthday so that he would have enough money to find Jack when he is older.
Meanwhile, Richard made the wrong decision by running away. His action had caused his mother, Lilith to spend a fortune to find him. His sister, Charlotte married Charles Devere, a lawyer at the age of sixteen because Charles had promised Charlotte that he would help her find her brother. Eventually, Richard’s mother died of heartbreak, his stepfather, Reverend Coldstone died of fury and his sister died of fever at childbirth.
From the differences, we can see that Collin had made the right decision and Richard did not. Colin had a very deep affection for his stepfather, Jack and had decided to save up, and when he had enough money, he will go in search of his stepfather. The cow with its broken leg was left in Colin’s bag with a purpose. It was to remind him of Richard who made a mistake by leaving home. His friends hoped that by their action, Colin would make a wise decision and not repeat the same mistake which Richard made.
Meanwhile, Richard was being unwise, irresponsible and unethical when he abandoned his family. By his ruthless and selfish action, he did not realize that he had actually added more problems to his family instead. They were emotionally upset about him leaving the family. It broke their hearts and eventually it led to their deaths. Richard regretted what he did. He was remorseful but it was too late. He became miserable, lonely and a sad man. Though he inherited a fortune, he lost his loved ones because of his impulsive and selfish act.
Therefore, when unforeseen things happen and problems need to be dealt with especially in broken relationships or whatever circumstances that affect our families and ourselves, we need to resolve them instead of running away and leaving the problems to others. Life is always a struggle and problems are never ending. We have to learn to share, to be responsible, take up the challenges, be tolerant and learn to face the troubles we meet in today’s society be it about broken relationship, death and others. From the lessons we learnt, let us not repeat the same mistakes that Richard did and the scars he left behind.