Empathy In this realistic fictional novel, To

Empathy is a force that can easily manipulate one’s mind positively or negatively. In this realistic fictional novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee, the story takes place in Maycomb, Alabama around the 1930’s. Throughout this novel, many characters explore the lesson of empathy and how to treat others with this kind of values. Seen as a role model and dad, Atticus teaches Jem, Scout and the readers how the impact of empathy can positively affect a person’s thoughts and actions towards others.
Throughout this novel, Atticus demonstrates a positive way of empathy by the way he teaches Scout and Jem. As a result, Scout and Jem learns from his actions and try display it to other people. When Miss Caroline, Scout’s first grade teacher, became irritated because Walter Cunningham wouldn’t take her quarter to by himself lunch, Scout empathized Walter Cunningham’s feeling at that moment and said, “The Cunninghams never took anything they can’t pay back-no church baskets and no scrip stamps. They never took anything off of anybody, they get along on what they have.” (Lee 26). Because Scout didn’t want Walter to feel embarrassed in front of the class, she decides to jump in and defend the Cunningham from Miss Caroline. Even before Atticus taught her the lesson, “You never really understand a person until you consider things things from his point of view-until you climb into his skin and walk around
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in it,” (Lee 39), Scout uses this lesson to know how Walter was feeling at this moment. Being shown as a naive narrator, this part of the novel makes us reader feel that Scout knows what she is doing and that her beliefs towards other people are beginning to fade away.
As the book progresses on, the readers can tell that the characters are developing in a way that makes them more mature. For instance, Jem is starting to become a man and Scout is now having an open mind on everything and everyone. Ever since the beginning of the book, Jem and Scout would always be yelled at by Mrs. Dubose, an elderly, racist women that is extremely ill due to drug addiction. Empathy begins to show after when Jem helped end Mrs. Dubose morphine addiction by going to her house and read to her. After Mrs. Dubose passed away, a white camellia was sent to Jem’s front door. At first, Jem was extremely vexed at Mrs. Dubose, but when Atticus explained to him how the times that Jem went and read to Mrs. Dubose, it enabled her to end her morphine addiction. With all the negative thoughts that Jem had on Mrs. Dubose, “Jem picked up the candy box and threw it in the fire. He picked up the camellia, and when I went off to bed I saw him fingering the white petals.” (Lee 149). After listening to Atticus trying to empathize Mrs. Dubose, it is visible that he finally respects her. Jem displays to us readers that he crawled in Mrs. Dubose skin, and felt the pain that she had to go through. From there he shows great empathy towards her.
Finally as the novel comes to a close, all the characters such as Scout and Jem, are fully developed meaning the are less naive and more mature. Now being in third grade, Scout starts to have these feeling towards Boo Radley. She starts to feel guilty on how they had treated Boo, the past few summers.

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