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Theme Timeline: Empathy Leads to Understanding

  • Pg. 39- "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- "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."
    Atticus is explaining that you can't understand or judge a person until you actually are in the situation they're in. This quotation is Atticus's advice to Scout. This is the explicit theme of the book. Atticus is talking about how empathy leads to understanding and compassion.
  • "As Atticus had once advised me to do, I tried to climb into Jem's skin and walk around it: if I had gone alone to the Radley place at 2 in the morning, my funeral would have been held the next afternoon. So I left Jem alone and tried not to bother him."

    "As Atticus had once advised me to do, I tried to climb into Jem's skin and walk around it: if I had gone alone to the Radley place at 2 in the morning, my funeral would have been held the next afternoon. So I left Jem alone and tried not to bother him."
    This quote was on pg. 77 of this book (the title space didn't give me enough room to put that there). This is explaining the situation where Jem's pants got stuck on the fence of the Radley place and how he had to go back and het them at two in the morning. Scout tried to imagine herself in the same situation Jem was in and she assumed that Boo Radley would kill her before she could make it home. She didn't try to walk around in Boo's skin. She just made an assumption.
  • Pg. 117- 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."

    Pg. 117- 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."
    Atticus is describing "Maycomb's usual disease" which is racism. He hopes that Jem and Scout will never be involved in such a terrible thing. People shouldn't be judged because of skin color or any other physical feature. This quote relates to empathy because the more empathy you have, the less racist you will become. You have an understanding for what it's like to be in their shoes. The people in Maycomb need more empathy.
  • Pg. 118 "Atticus was feeble: he was nearly fifty.... Jem was football crazy. Atticus was never too tired to play keep-away, but when Jem wanted to tackle him Atticus would say, I'm too old for that son. Our father didn't do anything."

    Pg. 118 "Atticus was feeble: he was nearly fifty.... Jem was football crazy. Atticus was never too tired to play keep-away, but when Jem wanted to tackle him Atticus would say, I'm too old for that son. Our father didn't do anything."
    This quite is explaining how Scout didn't like how Atticus was old and couldn't do anything. This quite enhances the theme of the book because it is the opposite of the theme of the book. Scout wasn't being compassionate about Atticus and was naming things he couldn't do because he was old.
  • Pgs. 139-140 "The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."

    Pgs. 139-140 "The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."
    Atticus says that his conscience is what makes him do the Tom Robinson trial because he couldn't go to church before God and live with himself if he didn't try to help him. This relates to the theme because Atticus is compassionate about helping a black man in a time like this, and that huge.
  • Pgs. 204-205 "Hey, Mr. Cunningham. How's your entailment gettin' along?"

    Pgs. 204-205 "Hey, Mr. Cunningham. How's your entailment gettin' along?"
    Atticus is being surrounded by a mob of men who want to hurt Tom Robinson. Scout runs up to the mob because she thinks someone is about to get hurt or jumped. And she ends up saying this quote to Mr. Cunningham when she sees him in the mob of people. This quote is an example of Scout's immaturity because she doesn't understand the theme of empathy and doesn't know what it's like to be a Cunningham. She didn't know what affect it would have on him because she's not in his situation.
  • Pg. 219 "You children last night made Walter Cunningham stand in my shoes for a minute."

    Pg. 219 "You children last night made Walter Cunningham stand in my shoes for a minute."
    Scout and the family are eating dinner together, and Scout tells Atticus that she thought that he was friends with Mr. Cunningham. Atticus says he is but Scout is confused because Mr. Cunningham tried to hurt Atticus. Atticus shows empathy for Mr. Cunningham by saying everyone has their good days and bad days. The image represents compassion.
  • Pgs. 274-275 "I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this defendant to his family. In the name of God, do your duty."

    Pgs. 274-275 "I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this defendant to his family. In the name of God, do your duty."
    This quote is part of Atticus' closing sentences in the Tom Robinson case. Atticus is trying to convince the jury to show empathy for Tom Robinson. He is trying to tell them to review the evidence they have and come to a decision without making the decision based on skin color.
  • Pg. 373 "I had never seen the neighborhood from this angle."

    Pg. 373 "I had never seen the neighborhood from this angle."
    Scout is on Boo Radley's front porch looking out into the neighborhood. She finally sees what he has heard and seen and understands what it's like to be in his shoes. She finally understands Boo and is compassionate about him.