Analysis of Courage in the Novel to Kill a Mockingbird

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Courage enables a person to face danger, pain and uncertainty without fear or without allowing fear to hold them back. It is an important trait that can be very useful in cruel situations. Harper Lee illustrates many feats of bravery in the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” that are not only physical, but morally courageous as well. The characters Jean-Louise “Scout” Finch, Atticus Finch and Mrs. Dubose are all courageous in their abilities to confront and overcome difficulties. Scout’s daring personality is first revealed near the beginning of the book when she picks a fight with Walter Cunningham. On her first day of school, Scout expresses no fear in fighting a boy “as old as [Jem] nearly” and “rubbing his nose in the dirt” (Lee 22). She is able to confront boys older than her and fight them without the thought of getting herself hurt. She faces the danger with no hesitation and no fear. She completely ignores the fact that Walter Cunningham is a boy and that he is a few years older than her. Scout’s boldness goes further in the jailhouse scene when she strikes a conversation with Mr. Walter Cunningham “in a last-ditch effort to make him feel at home” (154). Even in the middle of a mob that initially, would not hesitate to kill her father, Scout demonstrates courage by her ability to stay true to what she has been taught. Doing the right thing is often hard but Scout does the right thing by being polite even in such a scary situation. The ability to confront others with no hesitation and the ability to stay true to oneself even in the cruelest situations are both excellent illustrations of courage. However, Scout is not the only character who displays integrity. Atticus Finch remains true to his values even in the harshest conditions. When Mrs. Dubose hollers rude remarks at him, he “would say he hoped with all his heart she’d have a good day tomorrow.” (100) He stays true to his values and maintains his manners even when they Mrs. Dubose does not return the...
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