Empathy Quotes In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Harper Lee and Empathy in “To Kill A Mockingbird”
By Tanaka Rwodzi
In Harper Lee’s critically acclaimed magnum opus “To Kill A Mockingbird;” Lee emphasizes her view on the importance of empathy through how she depicts empathy in regards to the characters Scout, Tom Robinson, and Atticus. “To Kill A Mockingbird” is a novel shown from the view of Scout, a young girl living in the sleepy town of Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930’s, and her and her brothers escapades; mainly their captivation over an elusive local resident who doesn’t leave his house, and the drawn-out process of a court case against a black man, Tom Robinson, who is falsely accused of rape. Throughout the novel, Harper Lee emphasizes the importance of empathy to her through how she
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Arthur Radley, colloquially known as Boo Radley, is a reclusive man who refrains from leaving his house. This is a significant social faux pas in Maycomb, and as a result, he is highly gossiped about by the townspeople and negative rumors constantly circulate regarding him and how he is mentally ill and should be feared. At the beginning of the novel, Scouts perception of Boo Radley is no different. As the novel progresses Scout slowly begins to empathise more with Boo; and she begins to fear him less after various events in the novel, such as the times Boo leaves Scout and Jem presents (59-60) and the time Boo places a blanket on Scout 's shoulders during the fire at Miss Maudie’s house (71-72). Scout’s empathy towards Boo Radley is really only fully developed by the end of the novel when Boo saves Jem and Scout from Bob Ewell. Afterward, when Scout is on the Radley porch after walking Boo Radley home, she contemplates that “Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough” (279). Atticus’s statement was an idiom for empathy. Scout 's response signals her understanding and approval of this. We can see through how Harper Lee emphasizes the build-up towards this moment in the
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