A World Without Empathy Is Hardly a World at All

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Eunice Lee Mrs. Lang English 9 Honors A Block 12 April 2012 A World Without Empathy Is Hardly A World At All A world without empathy creates a society that does not have compassion for its own members nor a sense of equality. The novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee takes place in the 1930s which is a difficult yet important time period in American history not because of the racism and prejudice but because it also marks the beginning of many changes in American history. The story is a retelling of Jean Louise Finch’s, or Scout’s, childhood and the mayhem that a court case in the 1930s causes a southern town The characters Scout and Jem Finch learn many lessons throughout the novel, many due to the teachings of their father, Atticus Finch, one of the main lessons being learned is empathy. It is essential for one to have empathy because it aids in the creation of a foundation of equality in society and also contributes to the ending of prejudice and discrimination in the community; therefore one should not allow society’s biases to influence their own but take a stand for his/her beliefs. Harper Lee conveys the message that empathy is essential for a clear foundation of equality develop in society through the characterization of Atticus Finch. When an individual has a deep sense of empathy he is more likely to share the wisdom that is bestowed on him, with having such empathy. This is illustrated when the author portrays Atticus’s strong belief in the importance of empathy as he continuously works to instill empathy into Scout. After Scout returns from a tiresome day of school and complains about her woes Atticus advises her that ‘“You never really understand a person until you consider his point of view’” (Lee 39). Atticus is telling Scout that although the people you meet may seem unreasonable or unusually cruel it is unfair to judge them until you have
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