"To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee This essay is on compassion in the novel.

Essay by chunkyHigh School, 10th gradeA+, February 2004

download word file, 3 pages 3.9

In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee tells the story of Scout and Jem, two young children who learn about racism and injustice in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama, in the 1930s. The children's father, Atticus, is a lawyer who is appointed to defend Tom Robinson, a black man unjustly accused of rape. It is through this trial, as well as through other characters, that the children learn about the injustices of the world and the need for compassion, a trait that demands that we rise above our selves and see "things from another point of view." This different perspective is the crux of compassion for it is only by understanding another's point of view that we can truly empathize and have compassion for someone who is different from us. It is through compassion that one understands why it is "a sin to kill a mockingbird," those creatures and people who do no harm and need our understanding.

Finally, it is through compassion that we can overcome human weakness, such as prejudice and injustice, and act with integrity and courage. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Arthur Radley, Mayella Ewell, and Tom Robinson are three characters that demonstrate the need for compassion.

One of the few characters that deserve compassion in this novel is Arthur "Boo" Radley. His father prohibits him from leaving the house and having any contact with the rest of Maycomb. Thus, it is just about impossible for him to even live a normal life. Moreover, Arthur's mysterious lifestyle inevitably leads to frequent false accusations that more than hurt his reputation. From Arthur Radley, Jem and Scout as well as the reader learns that what one may think of another may not be true until they completely understand things from that individual's...