Compassion and Forgiveness in To Kill a Mockingbird

In the midst of bitter friendship troubles, Atticus took Scout in his arms and told her this simple truth that we all can benefit from: “This time we aren’t fighting the Yankees, we’re fighting our friends. But remember this, no matter how bitter things get, they’re still our friends and this is still our home.” (9.27)

Harper Lee was definitely on to something with this powerful idea of compassion and forgiveness for others. This small quote reminded me of a cartoon I once saw that has stuck with me. It pictures an elderly couple who has probably been married for many years. They look very angry at each other and probably are in the middle of an argument; they are sitting outside on a bench but are faced away from each other. The man, though he looks frustrated and upset, is holding an umbrella over the woman to protect her from the rain. This image makes a claim that we still care for the ones we love even when we are going through a disagreement. I think we all can relate to this situation somehow. Perhaps we have fought with a friend or family member, but we would never wish them harm. I believe you can remain someone’s friend and treat them with respect even though you’re going through a rough time in the relationship. What matters is that you forgive each other and try to be understanding and compassionate.


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