Courage In To Kill A Mocking B

Essay, Research Paper

Although at first it doesn t seem like it to Jem, His neighbor Mrs. Dubose is full of courage. Infact one of the people she criticizes the most (his father Atticus Finch) considers her to be “the bravest woman I ever knew.”

Before Jem actually got to encounter Mrs. Dubose on a daily basis, he and many of the other neighborhood children were petrified of her. They knew that any time they would walk past her she would yell at them for absolutely no reason. One one particular day it was the day after Jem’s twelfth birthday. Jem and Scout went to town to spend some of his money. On the way, Mrs. Dubose yells to Jem that he broke Miss Maudie’s grape arbor that morning, which is untrue, and yells at Scout for wearing overalls. Then she starts yelling at them about how Atticus is defending “niggers,” and says that Atticus is no better than “the trash he works for.” Jem tries to follow Atticus’s advice regarding Mrs. Dubose: just hold your head high and be a gentleman.

Unfortunately however on the way home Jem s anger over powers him and he attacks Mrs. Dubose Camellia Bushes. When his father returns home he is sent to go Apologize to Mrs. Dubose and is explained to that Mrs. Dubose is sick and that he can t take everything she say so seriously. To repay her Jem and Scout go to Mrs. Dubose every day to read to her. They think that maybe she may be friendly but they are still scared.

In the beginning of the visits Mrs. Dubose Is very critical about the way the book (Ivanhoe) is read and gets angry at mispronunciations. As time progresses she stops the criticism. Another thing the kid s notice is that every day they are at the house an alarm goes off and they get sent home so she can have her medicine. The strange thing is that every day the time they are there is a little bit longer.

A few weeks after the reading visits end Atticus comes home and informs the boys that Mrs. Dubose had passed away. He then sits them down and explains that she was a morphine addict. He explains that every day she waited a little longer while Jem read to her, until she broke herself from her addiction to morphine, which the doctors put her on as a pain-killer for her illness. Atticus wanted his children to see her an example of true courage because even though she knew she was going to die, Mrs. Dubose wanted to be free of her addiction. Atticus tells Jem that courage is about more than men with guns, it’s knowing you’re going to lose but sticking to your views and fighting anyway. Mrs.

Dubose won, because she died beholden to nothing.


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