In Sophie's Choice, should we feel empathy/sympathy for Sophie? Why?

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Indeed, Sophie is a complex character.  There are many statements, actions, and representations that make her very unlikable.  She does carry herself in a manner both during and after her experience at Auschwitz which can border on evoking a sense of disdain.  However, the critical moment of her choice is where empathy, in even a dislikable individual, becomes the formative element in her judgment as a character.  Having to make the choice as to which child will live and which one will die is the epitome of tragedy as a collision between equally desirable, but ultimately incompatible courses of action.  Such a choice creates agonizing pain in any and all individuals.  To have endured such a moment of emotional brutality makes anyone as a figure of empathy and sympathy.  While Sophie is so very tormented and haunted by both the choices she made and the bonds which were broken by intolerance and hatred of self and others, she is a figure whose pathetic nature makes her one where it becomes very difficult to cast negative judgments and assessments.

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