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The Importance Of Empathy In To Kill A Mockingbird

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The 1930s were a time of controversy, housing the great depression and after the civil war, it was a breeding ground for racism. Set in the town of Maycomb, Alabama, Jem and Scout, children of Atticus Finch become enthralled by the mysteries and horrors that surround Boo Radley. Atticus, a lawyer then begins to defend a black man named Tom Robinson who was accused of raping a white woman. It is through this that Jem and Scout begin to learn the true atrocities that mankind commits. However with Atticus's guidance they also learn the meanings of empathy and compassion. Throughout To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee communicates on numerous occasions the importance of compassion, as taught to jem and scout through the book, empathy is one of…show more content…
Atticus in to kill a mockingbird is something of a flawless idol to his children. Through this idolization, Atticus wants to show that people can be completely different if you view a situation from their perspective. When Jem and scout are walking down the street, Mrs. Dubose yells at them “‘Yes indeed, what has this world come to when a Finch goes against his raising? I’ll tell you!”... “Your father’s no better than the niggers and trash he works for!’” (106). Jem is furious and on the way home he takes Scout's baton and uses it to destroy the entirety of Mrs. Dubose's Camellia bushes. When Atticus finds out, he makes Jem read to her everyday except sundays for over a month. It isnt later until that Jem learns of Mrs. Dubose's morphine addiction and how she was trying to leave this world “beholden to nothing and nobody,” (115). Atticus then reveals that she had died free “as the mountain air,” (115), and that she was the most courageous person that he had ever known. Atticus wanted to show Jem what “real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. Mrs. Dubose won,” (116). Unlike most people in Maycomb county, Atticus looks through other…show more content…
I destroyed his last shred 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. So if spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayella Ewell one extra beating, that’s something I’ll gladly take. He had to take it out on somebody and I’d rather it be me than that houseful of children out there. (293) This just shows the true nature of Atticus Finch, the fact that he could stand in Bob Ewell's shoes, shows the children that if you want to get along with people in life, and have your name be respected then you have to learn to understand things from different perspectives. Throughout the book, empathy is one of the major themes in To Kill A Mockingbird, taught by Atticus, empathy and compassion for people lead to understanding, The reason this book is still read across the nation is because of its relevance to this day. In a nation divided by race, gender, by LGBT activists and the likes, Harper Lee reminds us the true significance of empathy, and being able to look through someone else's eyes, not just our
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