Analysis Of Harper Lee 's Kill A Mockingbird Essay

1151 Words Oct 19th, 2015 5 Pages
In Katie Rose Guest Pryal’s article, she discusses the absence of cross-racial empathy in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, using different events in the book to prove her point. Initially she begins with a definition of empathy stating “the power of projecting one’s personality into (and so fully comprehending) the object of contemplation” (176). Then discussing the sparsity of black characters conveying their feelings of a white dominant society, Pryal states that the whites show little interest in empathizing with them. Continuing, with the misconception between sympathy and empathy, Pryal believes that sympathy is exhibited in the book rather than empathy. She believes that Atticus did not empathize with Tom Robinson and that Atticus could never imagine Tom’s situation. In her second section, Pryal considers the role of empathy in the legal system. Stating that the novel has limited instances for the reader to empathize with Tom, Pryal articulates that white readers do not have to view situations in the eyes of blacks and view the horrible things they commit towards them. She holds that as much as Atticus attempts to teach Scout empathy, he did not follow his advice. During the incident of the face off at the jail, Heck Tate warns Atticus of possible lynch mobs which he does not think would be a problem in Maycomb. She thinks that since Atticus does not believe that lynch mobs would be a problem in Maycomb, he fails at empathy. Pryal believes that when presented at…

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