To Kill a Mockingbird
By Harper Lee
Empathy is the ability to recognize emotions that are being experienced by another individual and/or able to understand them. It is a term of emotional understanding and an important skill for human beings. In the novel,
To Kill a Mockingbird, the author, Harper Lee, displays the significance of empathy throughout the book. Empathy can be seen in the ways
Atticus Finch, Scout’s father, demonstrates all through the book. Jean Louise Finch, also known as Scout, demonstrates empathy towards Arthur Radley, aka “Boo”, and Mayella Ewell. Atticus and Scout learn and teach all throughout the book. They mature and develop, and can tell what is right and what is wrong.
Atticus Finch is the most empathetic character throughout
To Kill a Mockingbird
According to the book, authored by Harper Lee, Atticus states “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” (Lee 30). Atticus is implying this to Boo Radley. Boo is misconceived throughout all of Maycomb. The only person who recognizes that Boo is not an unacceptable human happens to be Atticus. Atticus makes an effort to only see the great in people.
Atticus Finch tries to understand and fathoms an individuals obstacle. On page 149,
Atticus recognizes Mrs. Dubose’s struggle with an addiction to morphine. “I wanted you to see 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’s addiction to morphine was a rough journey. She had a terminal illness that was very painful, but she wanted to die without the burden of her addiction. Mrs. Dubose won her battle of addiction and she past away clean and morphine free. Jem and Scout disliked Mrs. Dubose because she was always so repugnant to them. She was impolite to the children because since she was dealing with her addiction,
Mrs.Dubose didn’t know how to handle the withdrawal symptoms, so she resorted to being rude.
Atticus was able to see what she was dealing with and how hard it was on her, while the kids were too young to understand. The quote above is implying that courage is not just bravery and heroism, it is the ability to face and maybe even conquer your problems without giving up.
Atticus has one of the most important skills that humans lack in this day of society; being able to see the good in people.
Along with Boo Radley and Mrs. Dubose, Atticus is also empathetic to Mayella
Ewell. Mayella Ewell happens to be the girl that convicted Tom Robinson of rape. Anyways,
Atticus is empathetic to Mayella because she is abused by her father, Bob Ewell. During the trial,
Mayella had to keep looking at her father for reassurance that she wouldn’t say anything wrong to avoid another beating. After the trial, Bob Ewell went up to Atticus and spat in his face.
Atticus didn’t do anything. Once Bob walked away, the only thing Atticus said was “...so if spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayella Ewell one extra beating, that’s something
I’ll gladly take”(292). Atticus is nothing like the Ewells, but her cares for Mayella and what she goes through. He doesn’t want to see a child get beaten, thats why he has never laid a finger on his children, Jem and Scout. The empathy that Atticus has about people is very rare in society.
Atticus helps to mature Scout by displaying how people should act in life and how to treat people correctly. While Scout Finch is maturing, she realizes that people are not so awful like people make them out to be. Scout’s maturity grows as the book goes on, and she notices that Boo Radley, and Mayella Ewell are just innocent “mockingbirds” that were shot down, as the book suggests