How Is Empathy Shown In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Empathy is one of the greatest powers that a human being can ever hope to achieve; one person being able to understand the inner-workings of another is something truly amazing. However, empathy isn’t something that one is always naturally able to accomplish; in fact, it usually takes a long time for one to develop any empathy at all. In Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, the reader follows Scout Finch as she experiences her youth in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama. In this story, we experience her empathy for others as it increases or decreases. Though there are many examples of these alterations in Scout’s relationships, there is one that is both prominent and more complex than a few others; her relationship with her aunt, Alexandra. There are three specific instances in which we can track the progression of Scout’s empathy towards her aunt; meeting Aunt Alexandra, Scout wanting to invite Walter Cunningham over, and the assault by Bob Ewell of Scout and Jem. The readers are introduced to Aunt Alexandra at the Finch’s family Christmas, but Scout has most likely known her beyond what the readers see. So, because of this,…show more content…
There is a final instance in which the readers see how Scout sees her aunt. Towards the end of the book, a terrible, immoral man named Bob Ewell attacks Scout and her brother in an attempt at homicide. “Aunt Alexandra went to the door, but she stopped and turned. ‘Atticus, I had a feeling about this tonight-I-this is my fault’” (Lee 359). Aunt Alexandra feels guilty for the assault, she sees herself at fault for the suffering of Jem and Scout. It is at this point in the story, a lightbulb finally brightens inside the head of a little girl; she is finally able to empathize with what her aunt has been doing throughout the entirety of the story. Aunt Alexandra has been trying to do what is best for Scout and Jem. She feels responsible for them. She’s been trying to mother
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