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Courage in To Kill A Mockingbird

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jade alcorn

on 13 November 2015

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Transcript of Courage in To Kill A Mockingbird

What is courage?
According to the Canadian Websters Dictionary, Courage is "a quality which enables one to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness or without fear".
But is that all that courage is, or is there more to it?
A simple word with a million meanings.
In the text
To Kill a Mockingbird
By Harper Lee as a result of characters standing up for what they believe in, leads to courage, ultimately leading to an attempt to show townspeople that they should not judge and discriminate against others.
Miss Dubose
Miss Dubose had an ongoing battle with a morphine addiction, she over came her addiction prior to her death.
Arthur 'Boo' Radley
Boo showed several acts of courage, one being the many times he escaped the wrath of Nathan Radley to give gifts to the kids, another was when he once again escaped the grip of the house and saved both Scout and Jem.
In the end
Atticus Finch
Atticus, the father of Jem and Scout, defends a black man Tom Robinson in a town full of rascism.
In To Kill a Mockingbird courage is demonstrated though what the characters believe in, and if they stand for their beliefs the surrounding people will question their previous thoughts. This is shown through Miss Dubose, Boo Radley and Atticus, who in their own ways are corageous.

How does the book relate to courage?
In the book
To kill a Mockingbird
, Several Characters show courage, although it might not be obvious at first. Some examples being, Miss Dubose and her Morphine addiction, and Arthur 'Boo' Radley and his act of saving the children.
Or is there more to it?
The Websters dictionary is wrong.
Courageous people are not always fearless. Courage isn't a quality, it's a state of mind. And you shouldn't have to be in danger to do something courageous.

Could you ever be courageous enough to go against your entire town, and their beliefs?
Courage in
To Kill A Mockingbird

“‘Mrs. Dubose was a morphine addict’, said Atticus. ‘She took it as a pain killer for years. The doctor put her on it. She’d have spent the rest of her life on it and died without so much agony, but she was too contrary-’ … “she said she meant to break herself of it before she died, and that’s what she did.” (Lee 92).
This quote shows that Mrs. Dubose is courageous because it shows how even though she could have easily just died with the addiction, and made her life end where it was, she decided to end her life on a good note, not addicted to anything. Her courage really stands out here because the kids didn’t really know what kind of person she was to everyone. She was just a mean old lady who didn’t like or socialize with anyone, she was just miserable, but it turns out she was very courageous and determined.

“‘Come closer’, said Mrs. Dubose. ‘Come to the side of the bed’.” (Lee 89)
This quote shows how Mrs. Dubose is courageous because it shows that even though she knew the kids didn’t like her because of how rude and disrespectful she was towards them, and what Mrs. Dubose said to Jem about Atticus, she was extremely determined to end her addiction. Even if it meant facing the children that she got in trouble, and made miserable for weeks.
“‘Jeremy Finch, I told you you’d live to regret tearing up my camellias. You regret it now, don’t you?’” (Lee 91)
This quote shows how Mrs. Dubose is courageous because she was standing up for herself during a rough time. She was standing up to the children that took advantage of her. This takes courage because she doesn’t have much to live for anymore. All she wanted was to prove a point; that she could cure her addiction, and to do this, she would do whatever it took.
"By the time I reached the corner the man was crossing or yard. Light from our front door framed Atticus for an instant; He ran down the steps and together , he and the man took Jem inside" (Lee 223)
This shows how even though Boo Radley could never escape the house he was imprisoned in, he was in such awe of Jem and Scout, so he Jumped into action to save the two from Bob Ewell.
"Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that's why his hands were bloodstained -- if you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yelow and rotten his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time." (Lee 13)
This quote shows Boo's Courage because even though he knew rumours were being spread around the neighbourhood about him being a big monster, he was still really kind to all of them.
"He was still leaning against the wall. He had been leaning against the wall when I came into the room, his arms down and across his chest. As I pointed he brought his arms down and pressed the palms of his hands agains the wall. They were white hands, sickly white hands that had never seen the sun, so white they stood out garishly against the dull cream wall in the dim light of Jem's room...His face was as white as his hands, but for a shadow on his jutting chin. His cheeks were thin to hollowness; his mouth was wide; there were shallow, almost delicate indentations at his temples, and his gray eyes were so colorless I thought he was blind....as I gazed at him in wonder the tension slowly drained from his face. His lips parted into a timid smile, and our neighbor's image blurred with my sudden tears." [Lee 270]
This Quote cleary shows that boo was uncomfortable with people and this situation was difficult fot him. But because Boo is corageous he saved the two children.
Atticus Finch is a prime example of courage in To Kill A Mockingbird. First of all, he is willing to protect the town: “The rifle cracked. Tim Johnson leaped, flopped over and crumpled on the sidewalk in a brown-and-white heap” (Lee 80).
He defends his neighbourhood and all of its citizens from the rabid Tim Johnson. In these few pages, Atticus shows his eagerness to defend Maycomb and rid of the racism that Tim Johnson represents, which takes both integrity and dauntlessness.
Atticus is also very moral. Unlike the other members of Maycomb, Atticus treats those of African descent as equals. For example, he sides with Calpurnia, whom both works for him and is black, and goes as far as to affectionately refer to her as “Cal” and encourages his children to do the same. He even states, after Scout asks him if he is a “nigger-lover”, “I do my best to love everybody” (90).
To be able to stand against a society that thinks that one’s opinion is wrong to the point of being ridiculed has to be extremely spirited.
Finally, Atticus believes in justice for all. “There’s nothing more sickening to me than a low-grade white man who’ll take advantage of a Negro’s ignorance” (188).
He knows that he will lose Tom Robinson’s case, but he goes in and tries anyway for the sake of righteousness. The bravery in this comes again from the idea of defiance, but also from the idea of equality between the races.
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