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Theme Of Racism In To Kill A Mockingbird

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“‘Please don’t send me back, please sir’” (Lee 33) pleaded Scout to her father Atticus. She had just come home from her first day at school with a teacher named Miss Caroline who was also new to the school, as well as to all of Maycomb, a little town in Alabama that Scout Finch lives in. Miss Caroline has been taught a standardized way to teach, which has students writing in second grade, not first, and when she discovers that Scout already knows how to read and write, she grows furious. When Scout goes home and tells this to Atticus, Atticus has Scout attempt to empathise with Miss Caroline, and, “‘climb into [her] skin and walk around in it’” (Lee 33). Scout begins to understand that Miss Caroline had a rough day too, and Scout and…show more content…
She comforts Scout and gives her hope for her break from school, saying she can come to the kitchen if she is ever lonely. After empathising with Jem, Scout relaxes for the beginning of summer, and Jem and Scout are pleasant. Through empathy, Scout and Jem make up, for the time being.
As well, empathy can be used to explain acts of violence, as Atticus explains to Scout after a scene at the jail. Tom Robinson, a black man convicted of rape and defended in court by Atticus, is in a jail that, Atticus predicted, would be attacked by a mob with the intention to lynch Tom Robinson. Atticus stays at the jail that night and narrowly avoids an incident with the mob. The next morning, when Scout asks why Mr. Cunningham, a family friend that was recognized among the crowd, would do such a thing, Atticus replies, “A mob’s always made up of people, no matter what. Mr. Cunningham was part of a mob last night but he was still a man” (Lee 179). Atticus is sharing his empathy for Mr. Cunningham with his children in this instance. Atticus is explaining that in a mob, you feel a part of a mob and do not think for your actions, only thinking for the mob. The anyominity of a mob is what makes it so bad, but it is always made up of people one would know, he says. Atticus’ explanation of Mr. Cunningham’s motives, or the whole mob’s motives for that matter, gives a reasoning behind the mob’s actions. Atticus teaches his kids, through his surprising calm
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