Father Daughter Relationship In To Kill A Mockingbird And The Merchant Of Venice
“Fathers, you are the head and strength of the family unit. If you are not in place, there is a weakness in the link.” (Marinoff). This quote signifies that a father must be present for his family. If a father is absent, he becomes the least dependable member. In “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee and “The Merchant Of Venice” by William Shakespeare, the two main antagonists destroyed their reliability, which in the long run ruined their father-daughter relationship. In the same fashion, both characters lost assurance in their daughter by disapproving of their love choice. However, their differences are shown through how parenting ruined their daughter trust. Bob Ewell is more on the abusive side while Shylock shows more care.
To begin, both Bob Ewell and Shylock disapprove of their daughter’s love choice. Bob Ewell disapproves of Mayella’s relations with Tom Robinson in “To Kill A Mockingbird”. Bob witnesses the pair together and he is furious. Tom Robinson states the disturbing words that he heard Bob Ewell say: “He says you goddamn whore, I’ll kill ya” (Lee, 198). Bob Ewell, as well as the rest of the town of Maycomb, have an enormous hatred toward the black community. Despite this fact, the Ewells are considered the uneducated “white trash” of society, Bob will not let his family name be ruined more so because his daughter wants to caress a black man. Mayella was so lonely, she didn’t have many friends, only Tom whom she considered as a potential lover. On the other hand, Bob physically harmed his daughter for her betrayal and tried to make Tom look like a monstrous individual to keep him out of his daughter’s life for good. Similarly, Shylock disapproves of Jessica’s affair with Lorenzo. Shylock expresses his detest for Christians because of the abuse and ways they mistreat the Jews. When Jessica falls in love with a Lorenzo, a Christian, Shylock is incredibly angry that his daughter is unfaithful to his wishes. For example, in “The Merchant Of Venice”, Shylock lost everything during his trial and declared to the court: “These be the Christian husbands . I have a daughter; Would any of the stock of Barabbas. Had been her husband rather than a Christian!”( Shakespeare, 4, 1, 79-81). The biblical reference of Barrabas, a dangerous criminal, who was chosen to be released instead of Jesus Christ by a Jewish crowd that lead to Jesus’s crucifixion has a deep significance. It clearly shows Shylock does not want his daughter to associate with a Christian but rather a criminal. Thus, both antagonists oppose their daughter’s love choice based on their biased opinions against their child’s lovers race and religion.
Secondly, both characters show a contrast in their parenting. Bob Ewell demonstrates more abusive attributes. For example, Atticus is describing Robert Ewell’s method of parenting to Scout. He says: ‘. . . it’s certainly bad, but when a man spends his relief checks on green whiskey his children have a way of crying from hunger pains. I don’t know of any landowner around here who begrudges those children any game their father can hit. . . but he’ll never change his ways’ (Lee, 31). Despite being a very poor family, Bob is supposed to use the money he receives to help aid his family even though he uses the money to support his alcoholism. In fact, he leaves them with very little food and puts his kids through very intense labour while excluding more and more their education. Bob neglecting his children’s lives and needs represent how terrible he maltreats his family. Yet, Shylock’s method of parenting shows more tender and care. Salonio describes Shylock’s reaction when he loses both his money and daughter as so: “My daughter! O my ducats! O my daughter, Fled with a Christian! O my Christian ducats! Justice, the law, my ducats, and my daughter! (Shakespeare 2, 9, 13). This quote shows that Shylock is more concerned about his daughter who fled with a Christian than his money. He even shouts for his daughter, which means he cares more about the wellbeing of his child. Given that, as a father, he is very worried that his child is gone, he wishes his daughter to return and be safe with him. Unlike Bob, he portrays a more caring and father-like figure. Therefore Robert Ewell and Shylock have a dissimilar approach to their parenting.
In conclusion, both antagonists similarly disapprove of their daughter’s love choice. Bob Ewell opposing Tom Robinson and Shylock disliking Lorenzo. In a similar matter, their reasonings are based on biased opinions against both men’s race and religion. Nevertheless, the two have a different approach to their parenting, Bob Ewell being more abusive and apathetic while Shylock is more tenderness and considerate. In the end, Bob and Shylock are more similar in the way they lost trust towards their daughters and how they destroyed their father-daughter relationship.
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