Compassion can be practiced to create a better world for children and future generations. Compassion is a kind act or an understanding of how others are feeling in a situation. Although it is kind to offer compassion to someone, in some situations, people’s actions can cause them to be undeserving of compassion. In To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Mayella Ewell is part of the lowest-class family in Maycomb. Her family is very poor, never goes to school, and she has to work on her family's farm a lot. Mayella Ewell accuses an African American, Tom Robinson, of raping her, and she goes on trial against Tom. This trial is motivated by race, and whose word the judges trust more. Mayella knows that every white person is trusted more than an …show more content…
The division in race causes Tom Robinson to be scared for his life. He understands that even being near a white woman as an African American is not an acceptable position to be in. Scout explains, “I did not understand the subtlety of Toms predicament: he would not have dared strike a white woman under any circumstances and expect to live long, so he took the first opportunity to run-a sure sign of guilt” (Lee 260-261). Tom understands the division in race and how he is in a lower class than the least respected white family. He would never ever try to do something to hurt another soul, much less a white woman. He is a compassionate person and was only trying to help Mayella with her chores when she came up and tried to make a move on Tom even though he did not do anything wrong. Mayella takes advantage of people and their Achilles heels. Mayella does not give compassion to others; accordingly, she is not entitled to compassion. Compassion could be described as “a mental state or an orientation towards suffering” (Jazaieri). Compassion is an empathetic feeling that is able to detect when someone is feeling down or is undergoing a challenging situation. If someone feels compassion, they have a want to cause someone relief from their suffering. Mayella does not deserve relief from her home life becasue she caused worse suffering to a kind and unsuspecting
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Many people either looked down on her family because the Ewells were so poor, while others felt sorry for her. During the Tom Robinson trial, Tom was questioned about why he helped Mayella with her chores. He replied “I felt right sorry for her”. Even someone like Tom Robinson admitted that he had felt sorry for Mayella.
Admittedly, she is a young girl who doesn’t know what a friend is, and had been placed under responsibility for her younger siblings and caring for the house her whole life. Although she is lying with intent to cover for her father, she may not know what else she could have done because of the two to three years of education she received. However, Mayella should have had the whole image of what she was doing in her mind. It is true that Mayella has never had much of a social life, but because her father implied what was wrong with her physically, she could have learned what was right. Placing the blame on a man who could easily be prosecuted for her injuries is something that can not be pitied and sympathized
Compassion can be defined as "sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. " It is an essential piece to a more united world. A book that stresses this idea is just mercy. In the book just mercy, lawyer Bryan Stevenson emphasizes the importance of compassion towards others by using strong examples of injustice and personal perspectives, ultimately moving the readers to show compassion to those around them.
Admittedly, this is true as she has caused Tom Robison and his entire family to be outcasts and seen as villains in order to protect herself from shame and position in society. However, Mayella is worthy of sympathy from others since she has not been treated fairly by anyone in her life, making others around her that hear her story, feel empathetic for her. Compassion is when others feel sympathetic for people in unfair or bad situations and want to help get rid of the pain it causes them. Empathy goes to those who are in bad places and did not earn the treatment they received, this is why others could feel compassionate for Mayella because she didn’t ask or deserve how her father and the town treats her. Irina Yuagy, a transformation and self-development writer at Mindvalley, explains, “True compassion goes beyond the understanding of another person’s suffering.
In the time period of the 1930’s, almost all people chose white people over colored. While Mayella was in court for allegedly being raped, many people in the courthouse believed her over Tom because she was white. As the Finch’s believed Tom, one of the spectors told them that he “ain’t ever seen any jury decide in favor of a colored man over a white man” (Document D). Since Mayella was white, she had the power to persuade everyone that a colored man had raped her. After Mayella accused a colored man of raping her, he felt sorry for her.
Mayella’s life is not filled with joy; she takes care of her family’s home, is never helped out by her siblings, and is abused by her father. Mayella has a lot to deal with thanks to her father and siblings, “others are choosing to acknowledge suffering (their own and others’) and wish to see the relief of suffering. This notion can get lost at times when doing these practices in solitude” (Jazaieri). Mayella does not have the atmosphere or ability to acknowledge her suffering; neither alone or with others. She does not have the ability to process or talk through her feelings, Mayella can not recognize that she is suffering as much as she is.
Compassion is obtained from others. Depending on the circumstances, some people acquire compassion, and others do not. Mayella Violet Ewell, an 18-year-old white female, in Harper Lee’s, To Kill A Mockingbird, falsely accuses Tom Robinson, a black man, of sexually assaulting her, which commences a court case in the town of Maycomb, Alabama. Mayella has a tough life at home because of how her father treats her, and her overall reputation in the town of Maycomb is terrible, and she is considered white trash because she does not go to school and lives in bad conditions. Mayella Ewell deserves compassion because of her lack of knowledge.
Compassion should have little to no boundaries. In almost every great story there is a specific character or a group of characters that help the protagonist because they feel bad for them. Compassion is also an important aspect of a functioning society; therefore, Elie Wiesel’s Night, 12 Angry Men by Reginald Rose, and the generosity of spirit shown by average citizens after the recent shooting in Las Vegas are all perfect examples of the importance of compassion. There are a handful of important examples of compassion in Night; however, certain parts illustrate the concept best. To begin, in part six; Elie tries to encourage Zalman to keep walking during the march to Gleiwitz, in fear of them being killed.
The different times Mayella has been abused, sexually and physically, have caused her to want to rid of the painful emotions and acts her father pushes upon her. Due to the circumstances that Mayella has lived through, she has always been “wishing there to be relief from that suffering” (Jazaieri).
Full-time writer Barbara Lazear Ascher’s 1988 essay “On Compassion” conveys her perspective about interactions between people of different social classes to reveal her opinion on the reasons for compassion and where compassion should come from. Ascher’s purpose is to have her audience question the ways that compassion can be shown and to challenge society’s fear of “raw humanity”(11). She adopts a warm but clinical tone in order to prompt her audience, the literate and the intellectually curious, to question the motives behind compassion. Ascher begins her essay by invoking the primal fear of when anyone or anything unfamiliar approaches.
Although Mayella has clearly lied in court, she was only doing the wrong thing because she had to. Mayella still deserves compassion because of how she has been treated her entire life. Irina Yugay, an author who has written many articles about self-development for Mindvalley, developed the idea that “True compassion goes beyond the understanding of another person’s suffering… compassion literally means to “suffer together” or “co-suffering.”
Mayella accused Tom of rape, which was proven false but the jury decided to choose the voice of a white girl over a black man, which was common during this period of time. The jury then found Tom Robinson guilty, then sentenced Tom to prison. Some may say that Tom Robinson was at fault for entering the Ewell household but Mayella asked tom to come inside, and help her with some tasks which then started the accusations of Tom Raping Maylla Ewell. Tom only helped Mayella because he was black and he wanted to stay on her good side which unfortunately did not happen. Mayella spoke against Tom which caused the jury to find him guilty.
Her desires were stronger than the code she was breaking. When she tried to put the evidence of her offense away, instead of being honest, she had put a man’s life in danger. However, Mayella is not a criminal. She is simply a woman who carries a heavy burden with no one to support or respect her. Mayella is a victim of abuse and
The conversation occurred while Tom was being interrogated by the prosecuting attorney. Tom was asked questions about why he often helped Mayella and one of his responses was “ Looks like she didn't have nobody to help her. I felt right sorry for her. She seemed…” (Lee 264).