Empathy In To Kill A Mockingbird

1118 Words5 Pages
The Mockingbird 's Songs “Mockingbirds don 't do one thing except make music for us to enjoy.” These famous words come from the equally famous work of literature, How to Kill a Mockingbird. The book is about a young girl, Scout, and her family who live in the racist southern town of Maycomb during the Great Depression. Scout grows up oblivious to much of the injustice around her and fascinated by the reclusive societal outcast Boo Radley. The book uses the mockingbird as a powerful symbol of innocence and is portrayed through several people and concepts.
Perhaps the most compelling evidence of the mockingbird 's symbol of innocence is the character of Tom Robinson. Tom is a young, married black man who lives in Maycomb. During the book, the people of Maycomb convict Tom of a crime he did not commit, eventually leading to his demise. In reality, his only crime, as Atticus Finch, Scout 's father says, was having, “the unmitigated temerity to ‘feel sorry’ for a white woman.” The woman mentioned is Mayella Ewell, a young poor woman abused by her father. As Tom feels empathy for her situation, he does little chores for her. Mayella makes a move on Tom, and upon refusing her, she accuses him of rape. Under these circumstances, Atticus fights tooth and nail against the racism of the time to prove Tom Robinson is innocent with weapons of blatant evidence and powerful words. “You know the truth, and the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some
Open Document