Theme Timeline: The theme in TKM is that empathy leads to understanding or compassion. The theme in this book means that people have to "climb into other people's skin" to understand them.

  • Pg. 39, Chapter 3

    "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . Until youclimb into his skin and walk around in it."
    Context: Scout talks to Atticus about her first bad day of school whenever she got in trouble for trying to explain Walter's family to Ms. Caroline.
    Theme Connection: This part of the book is the first time the theme is introduced into the book. Atticus tries to explain that you have to see things from other people's point of view.
  • Pg. 77, Chapter 7

    "As Atticus had once advised me to do, I tried to climb into Jem's skin and walk around in it: if I had
    gone alone to the Radley place at two in the morning, my funeral would have been held the next
    afternoon. So I left Jem alone and tried not to bother him."
    Context: Scout realizes that Jem completeed a courageous act by going back to the Radley Place for his pants.
    Theme Connection: Scout uses Atticus's advice to reach into Jem's skin, and realize the situation in his eyes.
  • Pg. 117, Chapter 9

    Atticus says, “I hope and pray I can get Jem and Scout through this without bitterness, and most
    of all, without catching Maycomb’s usual disease. . . .I just hope Jem and Scout come to me for their
    answers instead of listening to the town.”
    Context:Atticus is talking to Uncle Jack. Atticus doesn't want his children to listen to the "racist town". He wants them to go to him for answers.
    Connection: Atticus doesn't want his children to become prejudice. He wants them to be empathetic.