Empathy In To Kill A Mockingbird

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"I seen that black nigger yonder ruttin' on my Mayella!" Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird describes the life of its young narrator, Jean Louise "Scout" Finch, in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama, in the mid-1930s. Scout opens the novel as a grown woman reflecting back on key events in her childhood. The novel begins when Scout is six and ends when she is eight. She lives with her father, Atticus, a widowed lawyer, and her older brother, Jem and their black housekeeper, Calpurnia. Scout and Jem's summer playmate, Dill Harris, shares in the Finch children's adventures. In the novel, we see Scout grow in awareness and come to a new understanding about her town, her family, and herself. In the novel To Kill A Mockingbird the worst of human behavior is showcased by the racism, and lack of empathy. It has been argued that racism has a place in society and should…show more content…
So when Atticus was appointed and chose to actively defend, Tom Robinson, a black man, of raping a white woman, the entire town became enraged. The townspeople did not care about a fair trial for Tom Robinson. Their hatred based on color kept them from hearing and believing the real truth. As a result of this hatred, Jem and Scout were subjected to abuse because of their father’s decisions. Racism was a way of life. Racism in itself shows lack of empathy. To have empathy for another person demonstrates that emotions are understood by the other person. Maycomb lacked empathy for anyone who did not fit into the racist white community. Jem and Scout at the beginning of the story showed a lack of empathy for Boo Radley and even went as far as making fun of him. Atticus explained to the Scout, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.” “--until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” As the children began to experience the negative aspect of racism, Scout began to understand what her father
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