Lack Of Empathy In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Lack Of Empathy Leads To An Imbalance Of Power: Former President Barack Obama had stated, “It’s the lack of empathy that makes it very easy for us to plunge into wars.” Obama infers that when people lose empathy, they lose the ability to understand others, which is a key emotion that helps people interact. His message connects to Marxism, a literary theory involving an imbalance of power. In the story “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, the characters’ experiences prove the reader of the significance a lack of empathy causes to the balance of power. An application of Marxism reveals that an imbalance of authoritative power is caused by a lack of empathy. Harper Lee creates Boo Radley as one of the symbols in the story to represent an archetype …show more content…

Mayella’s symbol indicates that one’s values and self-worth are different from what is seen on the outside. This evident from the following quote: “...[Mayella] wasn’t from a fine...family. Maycomb gave [the Ewells]...the back of its hand.” (Harper Lee 257). Mayella’s lack of association with any class of Maycomb is attributed to her of failure to reform to Maycomb’s societal standards. Harper Lee creates this power difference between society and Mayella in order to establish that society’s absence of empathy is not worth the amount of power it has abused from Mayella. In addition, Lee argues that in any scenario of such, one should empathize with others, which leads to the equilibrium of power. Lee writes: “‘She watered them red flowers every day’...” (Harper Lee 256). Mayella’s geraniums represent the growth of her care and empathy despite her bleak life. Connecting this to the thesis, Lee emphasizes that with the power of empathy, one’s prejudice against another vanquishes and leads to an equal amount of shared power. Harper Lee uses Mayella’s empathy amongst her flowers to prove to the reader that Mayella’s lifestyle is a consequence of her father’s values solely. Harper Lee created Mayella Ewell as a caring mockingbird who was shot due to society’s prejudice over her social …show more content…

Boo Radley’s low amount of power is caused by society’s lack of empathy towards him. Tom Robinson’s limited amount of power is evident due to society’s absence of empathy towards his ethnicity. Mayella Ewell’s insufficient amount of power is due to society’s shortage of empathy towards her societal status. As Obama had stated previously, a lack of empathy leads to wars. His message connects to Lee’s call to action: empathize more with others instead of being prejudiced against them. If one empathizes with another, they form an equilibrium of power based on their

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