Courage in To Kill a Mockingbird Essay Example

Courage is something you will not find in all people. Some people choose to ignore courage in the fear of not being accepted by society. It can be defined as the ability to do something that frightens one, so of course in the 1930’s people had courage when it came to something they believed in. The book To Kill a Mockingbird contains characters with the courage to do things that could move more people to do things they believe in. Even if it does frighten them. The characters that show some amount of courage in the book will have to be: Mrs. Dubose, Atticus Finch, and Miss Maudie.

Mrs. Dubose was an old woman who was dying, but was addicted to morphine. She was rude, prejudiced, and cranky all the time. Despite all of this she still had the strength to want to die free of her addiction to morphine. After her death Atticus tells his son Jem that “he wanted him to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. Mrs. Dubose won all ninety-eight pounds of her. According to her views, she died beholden to nothing and nobody. She was the bravest person he’d ever knew” (Lee 149). Mrs. Dubose got off her pain medicine knowing that the pain was going to be bad, but she didn’t care because of the courage she had. 

The amount of courage Atticus Finch had was amazing. His courage could put his family and himself in trouble, but he still pulled it through. Atticus Finch fought for the freedom of Tom Robinson, a black man, because he believed in his heart that he was innocent.  Tom had been accused of raping a white girl by the name of Mayella Ewell. In this time racism was very much a thing, so if a black man is accused of doing something to a white girl he is most likely going to be found guilty. He did it not only, because it was the right thing to do, but because he felt that “if he didn’t he couldn’t hold up his head in town, he couldn’t represent this county in the legislature, he  couldn’t even tell Scout or Jem not to do something again” (Lee 100). 

Even though the rest of the town really didn’t like him for doing it he did it anyways, because he had the courage to. He was being talked about everyday, since the day the people in his community found out. When Scout went to school Cecil Jacobs “had announced in the schoolyard the day before that Scout Finch’s daddy defended niggers” (Lee 99). Even after all the comments, Atticus kept his head held high.

Nelle Harper Lee chose for her characters to have courage, which is good to see considering that her characters were based around the 1930’s. This time was severely bad, and for her characters to show so much courage you could infer that Harper Lee is a strong woman.



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