Examples Of Ignorance In To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

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Ignorance is defined as “lack of knowledge, education, or awareness” (Merriam-Webster). When present in a society, this idea can be very dangerous. Ignorant societies aren’t aware of the struggles of its marginalized citizens. In Maycomb, compassionate characters and actions are shut down by the town. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, it is shown that ignorant ideas can be ingrained in a society, and when empathy is encouraged, conflict arises. There are many instances of ignorance in Maycomb. When Jem thinks that Scout is being cowardly, he says, “‘I swear, Scout, sometimes you act so much like a girl it’s mortifyin’’” (Lee 50). In this society during this time period, cowardliness is associated with femininity. This is an example of gender ignorance. Additionally, Maycomb shuns Mr. Dolphus Raymond because he married a black woman and has racially-mixed children (Lee 215). This is a case of racial ignorance. People cannot fathom why this white man would want to marry a colored …show more content…

Atticus defends Tom Robinson, a black man in court (Lee 254). In a town where black people are seen as lower in importance than white people, this is a tremendous act of compassion. Atticus tries to put himself in Tom’s shoes and see things from his perspective. He pities Tom’s situation as a person who faces persecution and prejudice simply because of the color of his skin, so Atticus makes an effort to protect his client’s rights and defend him in court. Another time when empathy is shown in To Kill a Mockingbird is when the Finch children invite Walter Cunningham home for dinner (Lee 30). Even though explaining Walter’s reason for not having a lunch got Scout in trouble at school, he is still welcome into the Finch’s home. The family knows that Walter is poor, so they show him compassion by dining with him. These efforts to see the situation from another person’s perspective highlight the acts of empathy performed in

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