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To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

What is courage? Courage is mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. In the story “To Kill a Mockingbird” written by Harper Lee there is three character that show courage. These characters are Atticus, Boo Radley and Mrs. Dubose. Atticus Finch, he is a lawyer in the town of Maycomb who one day willingly takes a case involving a colored man. This man is Tom Robinson who was accused of rape by Bob and Mayella Ewell. Atticus, in my opinion was the most courageous in the story because of this.

He is a very fair lawyer who went against the town and willingly defended Tom Robinson. Here is a quote that shows Atticus defending Tom Robinson “”As you grow older you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it- whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, of how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash” (201). This quote also shoes courage “If I didn’t I couldn’t hold my head up in town, I couldn’t represent this country in legislature, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do something”(75).

Arthur Radley, also known as “Boo” is an outsider who never sets foot outside his house. Everyone in Maycomb see him as a creep who stabbed his father with scissors. Boo has a lot of courage at the end of this story, when he saves Jem and Scout from Bob Ewell. He risked the chance of being visibly seen after all those years of being inside behind some obscure walls. It was like what Mr. Tate said, “All the ladies in Macomb includin’ my wife’d be knocking on his door bringing angel food cakes. To my way of thinkin’, Mr. Finch, taking the one man who’s done you and this town a great service and draggin’ him with his shy ways into the limelight-to me, that’s a sin. It’s a sin and I’m not about to have it on my head”(369).

He is also one of the mockingbirds from the story like Scout says “Well, it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird, wouldn’t it? ”(370). She says this after Atticus asks her if she understands that Mr. Ewell fell on his own knife. Mrs. Dubose, she is an elderly, ill-tempered racist woman who lives near the Finches. She shows courage in this story by trying to quit her addiction to orphine, even when she knew her chances were slim. She makes a goal to die free of her weakness and goes through a time of withdrawal that is difficult to survive. This quote shows Mrs. Dubose’s courage “It’s when you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what”(112). In conclusion, the reader learns about courage from these characters. The reader learns the real meaning of courage and how it is portrayed in the story. Courage is shown very clearly in the story especially when Atticus showed his courage, helping Tom Robinson.


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