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Courage – A Significant Theme In The Novel ‘To Kill A Mocking Bird’

1147 words - 5 pages

Philip Usajewicz
Mr. Clancy
ENG 201
October 7th, 2008
Courage – A Significant Theme in the Novel ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’
In the novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ written by Harper Lee, courage can be seen as one of the strongest themes depicted in the novel through the morals given by characters like Atticus, and the brave events that are show by him throughout the novel. Courage can be considered a highly developed characteristic seen in many heroic individuals throughout history. It is a quality that is used in the darkest time, as well as an emotion that is hard to find but gives great reward in the end. The theme of courage can be seen through many classic works, and is still ...view middle of the document...

He’s teaching the moral of courage to his kids. He knows that no one will support him but rather loath him for doing it but he knows it the right thing to do. Atticus's strong sense of morality and justice motivates him to defend Tom Robinson with determination, and giving it all he has got. He shows this when he says, "Link, that boy may go to the chair, but he's not going till the truth's told." (Chapter 15, Page 146) Atticus later shows bravery when he went to the jailhouse to protect Tom from a mob. Without thinking twice he rushed to Tom's aid. He went willingly; knowing that if a mob did form he would be greatly outnumbered and would easily be beaten. Still, he put Tom's well being after his own welfare.
For a younger character, like Scout, courage is most often associated with a physical act that is usually dangerous. It is hard for young children like that to realize that greater courage is shown in other aspects of life. Scout sees an example of courage in her father when he shoots the mad dog. Although Atticus did not think of it as very courageous, Jem and Scout were proud of their father and the courage he showed in the situation. He was not trying to prove anything, yet they were still impressed. Later on in the story, Jem and Scout encounter the vindictive Mrs. Dubose. "Your father's no better than the niggers and trash he works for!" (Chapter 11, Page 113) When she bad mouthed Atticus like that, Jem decided that the best way to settle things was to ruin Mrs. Dubose's camellias. After Atticus heard about this stunt, Jem was made to read to her every afternoon for a month. Mrs. Dubose was a very sick lady, and had morphine to ease her pain. It was not until after she died that Atticus explained to Jem and Scout how courageous the lady was because she knew she was dying but was still determined to die free of the morphine. She fought against great odds, even though she knew that she would surely die. Between these two examples Atticus set, and the many more he showed in the way he lived his life, Scout was taught to stop fighting with her fists and to try and overcome...

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