Huck, Emma, and Asher: The Language of Empathy Introduction The titular characters of Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, Austen’s Emma, and Potok’s My Name is Asher Lev all undertake personal journeys at the end of which they emerge transformed and bettered. The essence of this betterment is the development of a sense of empathy. While each character is introduced to the reader as blissfully pre-occupied with their own passions and pastimes, their narrative arcs come to a close with the discovery that other people are at least as important. Twain, Austen, and Potok each employ the language of empathy to illustrate the change in their lead characters; thus, before the characters make the decisions that demonstrate their new consciousness of other...The end:
.....rience various kinds of change over the course of their narrative arcs. One important kind of change is the transition from an initial selfishness to a worldview that is more informed by empathy. This narrative choice was by no means inevitable; Madame Bovary is an example of a novel whose protagonist dies just as selfishly as she has lived. Perhaps the palpable sense of humanity that lies at the center of these three novels originates partly from the way in which each of the lead characters recognizes and accommodates the welfare of others. References Austen, J. (2001). Emma. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Potok, C. (2000). My name is Asher Lev. New York: Fawcett Crest. Twain, M. (1912). The adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Harper.