preview

How To Show Empathy In To Kill A Mockingbird

Good Essays
Charlotte from the book Charlotte's Web embraces similar qualities to Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. In Charlotte’s Web, a pig named Wilbur fearfully awaits the day his owner slaughters him. A clever spider named Charlotte notices Wilbur’s angst and feels tremendous empathy toward him. As a result, Charlotte weaves a web that illustrates positive words describing Wilbur. Charlotte intentionally brings attention to Wilbur so his owner will develop empathy for him as well. Her plan proves successful and the slaughtering fails to take place. Charlotte’s ability to empathize saves Wilbur. In addition, Charlotte demonstrates humility as she never desires credit for her hard work with the web. Similarly, Atticus never draws attention toward…show more content…
First, Atticus takes the perspective of Scout’s school teacher, Miss Caroline. When Scout comes home from her first day of school, she complains about Miss Caroline penalizing her for her ability to read. Instead of becoming enraged, Atticus takes the perspective of Miss Caroline and explains to Scout the difficulties her teacher faces when stepping into a foreign community. He states: “First of all, if you can learn a simple trick Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you understand things from their point of view- until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”(39) This advice summarizes Atticus’s approach to people. His ability to interpret other people’s views makes him an extremely righteous character. Another example of Atticus’s empathy reflects in his reaction to Bob Ewell’s threats. Atticus realizes Bob Ewell's determination to retaliate on him for defending an African American during the trial. However, Atticus still sincerely understands Bob Ewell's perspective and attempts to find goodness in it. After Jem asks for Atticus's reasoning regarding his forgiveness of Bob, Atticus points out: "Jem, if you can stand in Bob Ewell's shoes a minute. I destroyed his last bit of credibility at that trial, if he had any to begin with. The man had to have some kind of comeback, his kind always does..."(292) Atticus’s explanation indicates his acceptance toward anyone, no matter the circumstance. It also proves his ability to understand the point of view of others. Atticus uses great insight to show compassion, though it could mean defending his enemies. Empathy defines Atticus as a person and distinguishes him from countless other
Get Access