An Analysis of Empathy in To Kill a Mockingbird, a Book by Harper Lee
Climbing into someone’s shoes and walking in it can give you the power to genuinely understand a variety of people. Doing this can also help you get along with all kinds of people, opening your mind to new perspectives of life. Considering things from other people’s point of view allows you to understand why people do certain things, taking away any kind of judgement. In the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Atticus teaches us to look at other people’s perspective of things by climbing in someone else’s shoes and walking in them, allowing us to sincerely understanding their thoughts and actions.
Climbing in someone’s shoes and walking in them will give you so much power and several benefits like befriending many people, understanding their actions, and accepting them for who they are. For instance, when Scout came to Atticus to explain her daily troubles, he replied, “If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view — until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” (pg. 39) Atticus realized that it’s not easy for someone so judgemental to understand why people do certain things, so he gives Scout a small piece of advice that will help her in the long run. He knew that the only way to be able to truly understand someone else’s choices was to view it from their perspective. For another example, when Scout dropped Boo Radley off to his house, she realized, “Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.” (pg. 374) Using the advice Atticus gave her, Scout was able to see things from the mockingbird’s point of view and understand why it would’ve been hard for Boo if they had told the truth. She also began to become aware of the things she did indirectly to Boo during the summer, and immediately reflected upon her own actions. For the final example, after Scout met Boo Radley for the first time, Scout said to Atticus as she fell asleep, “Atticus, he was real nice,” and he replied, “Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.” (pg. 376) In the end, by listening to Atticus’s advice, Scout was able to make a friend, one who seemed strange at first, but was found to be innocent and pure later on. She accepted Boo for being reclusive and stopped “putting his life’s history on display for the edification of the neighborhood” because she understood how it felt to see that from his own neighbors. Scout learned to value other people’s opinions and rituals through Atticus’s priceless advice: try to climb into someone’s shoes and walk in them.
In the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Atticus teaches his children a simple trick to understand a person’s opinions and behavior: to climb in their shoes and walk around in them. This can benefit society in many ways, including having everyone get along with each other because you see things their way. Trying to think about how they feel and what they’re going through can be a crucial factor when it comes to strong relationships and can only be achieved by putting yourself in their “shoes.” With everyone understanding each other, the world would be a whole community, living in peace. If you disagree with someone’s judgement, looking from their perspective can allow you to empathize, tolerate, and accept them.
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