Successful People Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 9 September 2016

Successful People

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and Stand and Deliver by Ramon Menendez and Thomas Musca are two similar stories where the main characters are both very determined. They both want to make a difference and are both very confident men. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch, the main character, is a white older man that is a lawyer. During the book, he has to defend a black man who was charged with raping a white woman. During that time period, black people were seen by the community as trash and or not important.

In Stand and Deliver, Jaime Escalante, the main character, is a Hispanic man that was put into a dangerously diverse school district. He goes to the school as a computer teacher, but the school doesn’t have computers. He then is assigned as a math teacher that has to find a way to teach students that society has assigned them as rejects. There are three similarities with the two main characters of each story. They both are very determined, they both want to make a difference, and they both are very confident.

To be a successful person like Atticus Finch and Jaime Escalante, you have to be very determined. Atticus Finch shows his determination in the work he does and the quality of work he does. Atticus is especially determined in the trial of Tom Robinson, a black man that was accused of raping a white woman. Atticus Finch went into the trial knowing that he was going to lose because in that time period a black person is convicted of something. Even if they didn’t do it they are guilty. But when he was done with the trial, he didn’t care if he won or lost.

All he cared about was that he got the jury to think. Jaime Escalante shows his determination when his fellow teachers tell him he can’t do things. He also shows his determination in teaching his students. He also teaches the community adult school. Jaime is very determined especially when his fellow teachers tell him that the students he’s trying to teach are dumb and stupid and have horrible work ethics. He proves them wrong. He tries teaching the students, which is unheard of by that school. Jaime goes above and beyond on his teaching.

He has class during the summer in the school’s locker room with no air conditioning and no air movement just to help his students have a better life. He also teaches at the community adult school to allow his fellow aged citizens have a better education and allow them to live a better life and advance in a society that is crumbling. Atticus Finch and Jaime Escalante both show that to be a successful person you have to be very determined and have a goal in your life to be successful. To be a successful person like Atticus Finch and Jaime Escalante, you have to want to make a difference.

Atticus Finch wants to make a difference in his community and in his family. Atticus Finch shows that he wants to make a difference in his community by getting rid of the black versus white going on. “The colored balcony ran along three walls of the courtroom like a second-story veranda, and from it we could see every-thing” (164). He shows that he wants to make a difference in his family by getting his family to get rid of the black versus white and also by having his cousin come and stay with them over the summer to teach Scout how to be a lady.

Jaime Escalante wants to make a difference in his community and in his students. Jaime shows that he wants to make a difference in his community by teaching students, parents, and older adult’s math and that their community isn’t just about getting a job and having or dealing with racial conflicts, which they can change the community by wanting and trying to learn. He also wants to make a difference in his students by not having them just follow what the other students are doing. The other students didn’t want to learn, were in gangs, and didn’t want their friends to learn.

Their friends wanted them to do things that would hurt or ruin their lives, and he succeeds in teaching them that life is not just about a job and what your friends do and to follow them. It’s not about what your friends think and how you see yourself around your friends. Life’s about living life to the fullest. The way you want to do it, and not the way society thinks you should do it. Atticus Finch and Jaime Escalante have both shown that they want to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.

To be a successful person like Atticus Finch and Jaime Escalante, you have to be very confident. Atticus is a very confident man when it comes to him being a lawyer and everything that he does. Atticus shows that he is a very confident person in the Tom Robinson case because in that time period black people like Tom were guilty of any crime that someone accused them of. Atticus had to be precise on what he said and how he said it to try and make the jury think about the case. Atticus is also very confident in everything he does.

One thing he does is shoot a rabid dog to save his community and never missed. “I saw that, One-Shot Finch!! ”(97). This quote shows that when Atticus is determined to shoot this dog to save his community that he is so confident that he only has to use one shot to kill the rabid dog. Jaime Escalante is a very confident person especially with his teaching methods and how he pushes his students to succeed. Jaime shows how confident he is with his teaching methods with his students by being one on one with them and teaching them the way they want to be taught and also with their personality.

The other teachers tell him that he can’t teach the students college level math and that the students wouldn’t learn it because they were stupid. Jaime was confident and persistent on the students to succeed and to learn at their fullest potential. Atticus Finch and Jaime Escalante have both shown that they are very confident in their everyday lives and in their jobs. Successful people tend to be very determined, want to make a difference, and are very confidence with strong personality traits. If all people where like Atticus Finch and Jaime Escalante, the world would be a better place to live in.

We would have smarter, more educated, and more intelligent people. People would be determined to get things done and not wait till the last minute and not do things. People would want to make a difference not just to be a follower that blends in. They would want to stand out and make a difference for themselves, for their community, for their country, and for the world. These people would have to be confident in what they do and how they do it because the followers and people that blend in would judge them and hopefully follow them.

If people would act like Atticus Finch and Jaime Escalante in school, we wouldn’t have to worry about bad things going on in school. We wouldn’t have to be scared about things that come up on a daily basis like drugs, stealing, gangs, fights and things like that. On a larger scale, the world would be perfect. We wouldn’t have so many things to protect us because we would be intelligent enough to not need them. People would be very determined to be better than the next person.

People would want to make a difference, and they would have to be very confident because it would take a great amount of time and dedication to become like Atticus Finch or Jaime Escalante. To be a successful person, you have to be determined, have to want to make a difference, and you have to be confident. These three personality traits are what make up great people like Atticus Finch in the book To Kill a Mockingbird and Jaime Escalante in the movie Stand and Deliver, and they truly teach us how a successful person lives.

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

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  • Date: 9 September 2016

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