To Kill A Moking Bird Essay Research

To Kill A Moking Bird Essay, Research Paper

To Kill a Mockingbird- The theme of courage

In 1960, Harper Lee?s To Kill a Mockingbird was published. It is a story about

growing up, human dignity and prejudgment. It is a story about courage. Courage is

mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.

The theme of courage is embodied in the characters of the novel. Courage is apparent in

Atticus, Boo, and Jem. Throughout the novel, the actions and feelings these characters

exhibit shows the true meaning of courage.

Atticus Finch is a studious man with a sense of morality that no other character in

the book comes close to matching. Atticus? behavior is governed by reason, morals and

values- not cheap popularity. In the novel, Atticus takes on the Tom Robinson case.

When asked about the reason he takes on this case, Atticus simply relies, ?But do you

think I could face my children otherwise?? This is truly an act of admirable courage

because he goes against all odds of the prejudice town and takes on this case. Atticus is

harassed and tormented by the town for taking on the case. Yet he would rather be

taunted than to go against his morals. This is courageous of him because he performs this

courageous act and expects nothing in return. By taking on this case, Atticus is harassed

by Bob Ewell. When Bob spits in Atticus? face, all Atticus says is, ?I wish Bob Ewell

wouldn?t chew tobacco.? Instead of sinking to Bob Ewells? level, Attics takes the

harassment and takes it with his head held high. This ability to withstand harassment

from Bob Ewell, and Maycomb, is courage. Atticus shoots Tim Johnson- a ?mad dog?

with rabies. Atticus places his own life in danger in order to protect the lives of others.

This event occurs at the perfect time in the story, just as the kids label Atticus as being

?feeble: he was nearly 50.? Shooting Tim Johnson proves to the children Atticus is

anything but feeble, he is indeed courageous. As the reader can clearly see, Atticus

epitomizes the definition of courage. Courage, in Atticus? opinion, is not being able to

fight with fists but to fight with knowledge and dignity. Atticus tells the children,

?I wanted you to see what real courage is instead of the idea that courage is a man

with a gun in his hand. Its when you known your licked before you begin but you

begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but

sometimes you do.?

Atticus acknowledges this as courage. He knows he will never win the Tom Robinson

case, yet he continues to give it 101%. Without any doubt, Atticus is the definition of


The man who is ostracized by Maycomb, the man who lives in mysterious seclusion-

all words describing Boo Radley. Though never stated, it is implied that Boo is a recluse

because of his mean-spirited brother, Nathan. Yet Boo truly does want to be part of the

?outside world,? though he somewhat fears it. Boo proves to be courageous because he

goes against the wishes of Nathan and leaves various paraphernalia in the knothole of the

big oak tree. Rumors travel around town about Boo, such as ?Boo drove the scissors into

his parent?s leg, pulled them out, wiped them clean and resumed his activities.? Boo is

able to ignore such rumors and carry on. This shows courage, the courage to live life

even when presented with many obstacles. When Bob Ewell attempts to make an attack

on the children, Boo rushes in to save their lives. Boo doesn?t think twice about his life,

only thinking about others. Boo is a scrawny character, Bob Ewell is definitely bigger in

size then Boo. Yet Boo acts courageously and looks danger in the eye- all for others.

Jem Finch is the character that changes most during the course of the novel. He starts

off as a gawky boy and turns into a mature and courageous young adult. Courage is

evident in Jem. It takes courage for Jem to be the way he is in the story- opinionated and

strong-willed. All of the people around Jem constantly plague him with the idea that

black people are bad and sinful. Jem went against those ideas and took on his own

opinions. Jem?s refusal to give into ?Maycomb?s usual disease? shows true courage.

Jem is brave enough to stand up to Mrs. Dubose and go against society?s dominant views.

Jem was forced to rebuild and strengthen Mrs.Dubose?s camellias, just as he is forced to

strengthen his courage against the town. Mrs. Dubose leaves behind Jem a white

camellia. ?Jem picked up the candy box and threw it in the fire. He picked up the

camellia and when [Scout] went off to bend [Scout] saw him fingering the wide petals.?

True, at first it may seem that the camellia is a symbol of torture- reminding Jem of his

days with Mrs.Dubose. A second glance allows the reader to come to the realization that

the camellia is actually a symbol of courage. Jem puts his own life in danger to save

Scout- like Boo Radley. As explained in the above paragraph, this does show courage.

As the reader can clearly see, Boo, Jem and Atticus exhibit courage. Courage is

being able to act with dignity and bravery. It is not common to find courage in everyday

common people, yet in To Kill a Mockingbird; several characters in the book exhibit

courage. Though Atticus, Boo and Jem display courage, they are not the only characters

to do so. The characters in the novel face numerous conflicts, and with time, conflicts

become more serious. It is only through courage that these conflicts can be won.


this is to kill a moking bird which i particularly like as a novel.



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