Empathy In To Kill A Mockingbird

1500 Words6 Pages
How The Author’s Message is Portrayed to the Reader by the Development of Jem and Scout

Upon being brought up in a white Christian household, it becomes increasingly difficult for one to empathize with the other types of people. The Ewells, African Americans, and the Cunninghams are the three groups that are degraded by the upper white class of Maycomb, Alabama. In the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Jem and Scout get the opportunity to go to an African American church, invite a Cunningham to their house, and witness a court trial. This in turn contributes to the better understanding of the others. Harper Lee’s message to the reader says that it is necessary for one to have empathy so that society can work together and have a harmonious lifestyle. To Kill a Mockingbird explores the different forms of discrimination that are seen throughout Maycombian society. There are four different “kinds of folks in the world…ordinary kind [whites], there’s the kind like Cunninghams out in the woods, the kind like the Ewells down at the dump, and the [blacks]” (226). The level of status determines one’s respect in society as well as how one is treated and perceived. The higher up one is ranked means that the level of hatred for others is increased; as whites “don’t like the Cunninghams, the Cunninghams don’t like the Ewells, and the Ewells hate and despise colored folks” (226). Seeing this has made Jem and Scout realize that they are lucky that they “live in a Christian

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