Empathy in To Kill A Mockingbird Essay

In the expansive strategy of things. each of us is working difficult to see ourselves prosper. When we are contending for endurance. why should any of us take the clip to experience for our fellow human existences? In her novel. To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee implies that holding the ability to experience for others or to demo empathy non merely benefits others. but can take to personal additions as good. This is best demonstrated through the characters of Atticus. Jem. and Scout Finch. An obvious illustration of this claim is through the character of Atticus Finch. Because of Atticus’ ability to sympathize with everyone. he is good respected by the town. even when he is making some controversial things such as supporting Tom Robinson. Atticus’ usage of empathy is evident during the test. where Atticus is faulting Mayella Ewell for falsely impeaching Tom Robinson of colza. Rather than explicitly assailing Mayella. Atticus says. “I have nil but commiseration in my bosom for the main informant of province. but my commiseration does non widen so far as to her seting a man’s life at interest. ” ( Lee-203 ) . Atticus is still presenting the same basic message. but instead than blatantly impeaching Mayella of lying. he is sympathizing with her and in a manner warranting her actions. nevertheless incorrect they may hold been. By conveying his points in ways that do non do others feel like they are being personally attacked. Atticus is a well-respected member of society.

We learn of the extent of this regard when Lookout complains: “Despite Atticus’ defects as a parent. people were content to return him to the province legislative assembly without resistance. I came to the decision that people were merely peculiar. ” ( Lee- 243 ) . Even after he lost the controversial Tom Robinson instance. the town still elected Atticus to function on the province legislative assembly since he was so well-thought-of because of his ability to sympathize with each and every member of Maycomb. We besides see this empathy in Jem. who clearly demonstrates more understanding by the terminal of the novel. We foremost acquire a glance of this after he helped stop Ms. Dubose’s morphia dependence before her eventual decease. After she dies. Jem receives a white camelia flower from Ms. Dubose. At first. Jem is angry. since he thinks Ms. Dubose is acquiring back at him. but Atticus explains how Ms. Dubose was a brave lady because she was able to stop her morphine dependence before she died. “Jem picked up the camelia. and when I went off to bed. I saw him thumbing the broad petals. ” ( Lee-112 ) . Jem is listening to Atticus’ advice and is seeking to sympathize with Ms. Dubose. whom he is eventually able to esteem.

We see Jem’s newfound adulthood develop throughout the novel. After Atticus loses the instance. Jem begins to do sense of the universe. “If everyone’s likewise. why do they travel out of their manner to contemn each other? Scout. I think I’m get downing to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time… it’s because he wants to remain indoors. ” ( Lee-227 ) . Jem is evidently maturating when he empathizes with Boo Radley. a character everyone despises despite non even cognizing him. As he makes sense of the universe. Jem begins to sympathize with even the most improbable of people. taking to increased wisdom. Even Scout. the least mature and most clueless of the Finches. learns the accomplishment of empathy by the terminal of the novel. Initially. Scout was ever speedy to judge others and saw things merely as black or white. She saw Aunt Alexandra as mean and unfair. However. she changes her sentiment after seeing her aunt stay composures and ladylike even after intelligence of Tom Robinson’s decease. “After all. if Aunty could be a lady at a clip like this. so could I. ” ( Lee-237 ) .

Lookout is get downing to esteem Aunt Alexandra for her positive facets. instead than demoing contempt for her defects. Scout besides demonstrates a heightened sense of understanding to Boo Radley. specifically. when Boo wants Scout to walk him place. “I would take him through our house. but I would ne’er take him place. ” ( Lee- 278 ) . Scout understands that it would be abashing to Boo to hold an eight twelvemonth old miss taking him place and it would give possible looker-ons the incorrect feeling. Alternatively. Scout had Boo keep her manus so it would look like he is walking Scout. which would look normal. By sympathizing with people she one time did non esteem. Scout has evidently come a long manner from the immature small miss that she was at the start of the novel. Empathy is non merely at that place to do us experience good about ourselves. Rather. the ability to sympathize makes us better human existences and it lifts society up every bit good. The Finch household is a reflecting illustration of this ability to sympathize. as they combat racism in To Kill a Mockingbird.


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