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Empathy in To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

  • Submitted by: itantyakw1198
  • on September 30, 2009
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 1,745 words

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Below is an essay on "Empathy in To Kill a Mockingbird" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Essay

Empathy is defined as a way to intellectually or emotionally understand a person. To be prejudice is to hold an opinion in disregard to the fact that contradict it. In the book “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee she displays how empathy can prevent prejudice in many different ways. Atticus uses empathy to prevent prejudice. Another method is the children’s way of thinking and how they use the information from what they see and not what they are told. The last way she displays contrast of how empathy can prevent prejudice is with a distinct character named Mr. Raymond and his relations with coloured people. Using empathy in the things you perform can prevent discrimination and ill understandings of a person.
As the book progresses Atticus displays that empathy will prevent prejudice and that he has a great knowledge of its effects. When Jem became very angry at Mrs. Dubose, their old and mean neighbor, he chopped down her shrubs in front of her house in a fanatical rage. When the consequences of his act came he was forced by his father to read to Mrs. Dubose for a month and during these reading sessions Mrs. Dubose seemed to break out into a shaking fit causing the children to be scared and confused.
Son, didn’t you know what her fits were? ... “Mrs. Dubose was a morphine addict.” said Atticus. “She took pain-killers for years. The doctor put her on it, she’d have spent the rest of her life on it and died without much agony, but she was too contrary-. (Pg.111)

From this quote you can see that Atticus put in great effort to make sure that his children knew of Mrs. Dubose condition and to not just judge her by the anger that she displays. He took the time to understand why Mrs. Dubose acted in such a way and did not just jump to the conclusion that she was mean by nature. Another way Atticus shows that empathy prevents prejudice is the means when he protects Calpurnia’s job when Aunt Alexandra...

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