, Research Paper
To Kill a Mockingbird Courage Essay
In our society, many people believe that courage is shown solely through physical acts of peril. Our community acclaims those people who put their lives at risk through grave danger to prove there courage, but people often overlook courage isn t always shown through strength. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, numerous amounts of characters show their courage in ways that do not necessarily require physical abilities, but are mental. They truly show mind over matter.
One Person who shows a great deal of mental courage is Mrs. Dubose. Mrs. Dubose gave up her morphine addiction which was very difficult and painful. Atticus helps explain to the reader Mrs. Dubose s suffering: Jem when you re as old as she is, it s all right to take anything (morphine) to make it easier, but it wasn t all right for her she meant to break herself of it before she dies, and that s what she did. (111). Mrs. Dubose was also courageous because she knew she was going to die but was still in good spirits and wanted to die with no regrets, this showed real courage: I wanted you to see what real courage is its when you know you re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what Mrs. Dubose won she died beholden to nothing and nobody. (112). Jem and Scout had no respect for Mrs. Dubose because she was mean to them and made fun of Atticus, but all she was doing was sticking up for her own beliefs no matter what anybody thought: After all those things she said about you, a lady? She was. She had her own views about things, a lot different from mine maybe. (112). As you can see Mrs. Dubose is a sheer example of courage that doesn t require physical, but mental courage.
Boo Radley shows courage much courage also. He shows courage physically, but more importantly mentally. Boo was trying to make contact with them by coming out of the house, even though he was locked inside for 15 years: As we came to the live oaks at the Radley Place I raised my finger to point for the hundredth time where I had found the chewing gum and found myself pointing at another piece of tinfoil. (34). Boo also shows courage by coming out again, except this time a lot of people were out. Atticus tells that it was Boo who warmed them: Looks like all of Maycomb was out tonight, in one way or another Someday, maybe, Scout can thank him for covering her up. Thank who? Scout says. Boo Radley. You were so busy looking at the fire you didn t know it when he put the blanket around you. (71, 72). Another way Boo shows courage is when he saves the children s lives. This took the most courage because he came out of the house then got into a struggling fight explains Scout: He slowly squeezed the breathe out of me. I could not move. Suddenly he was jerked backwards and flung on the ground, almost carrying me with him the scuffling noises were dying: someone wheezed and the night was still again the man was walking with staccato steps of someone carrying a load to heavy for him .he was carrying Jem his lips parted into a timid smile, and our neighbor s image blurred with my sudden tears. (262,263). Boo Radley truly shows courage in this novel.
Atticus Finch shows the most courage in To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus shows courage in many and in different ways. Atticus shows courage by shooting Tim Johnson, the dog, even though Heck Tat warns him of the consequences of missing: For God s sake, Mr. Finch, look where he is (Tim Johnson)! Miss and you ll go straight into the Radley house! I can t shoot that well and you know it! (96). Atticus shows a lot of courage by taking the Tom Robinson case. This took a lot of courage because it was a majority racist town, Atticus discusses taking the trial with Uncle Jack: and I hope and pray I can Jem and Scout get through it without bitterness, and most of all, without catching Maycomb s usual disease (racism) I just hope Jem and Scout come to me for their answers instead of listening to the town. (88). Atticus shows the most courage because of why he takes the case. He takes the case because he thinks its morally right: if I didn t I couldn t hold my head in town, I couldn t represent this county legislature, I couldn t even tell you or Jem something again because I could never ask you to mind me again. (75,76). Atticus shows true character and courage in this story. That is the kind of perseverance and courage that everyone should be admired.
In To Kill a Mockingbird, many characters show true courage. True courage does not have to be a physical, in fact, true courage is usually mentally. Mrs. Dubose shows true courage with breaking her morphine addiction, Boo shows true courage by coming out of the house after all those years, and Atticus definitely shows true courage by taking the Tom Robinson case in general. To Kill a Mockingbird truly shows that courage does not have to be by physical means.