Courage in To Kill a Mockingbird
"Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities...because it is the quality which guarantees all others," (Winston Churchill). There are several different ways t be courageous. Harper Lee, in her 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, uses courage as a main theme. Harper Lee demonstrates that if one can tell the truth, change or remain rooted in their morals, they are a minority among people who lack the ability to do so.
In To Kill a Mockingbird there are different characters that show it takes a certain amount of courage to tell the truth. When Dolphus Raymond said, "You little folk won't tell on me now, will you? It'd ruin my reputation if you did," (Lee 227) after he showed the kids that is was Coke in his paper and not alcohol. It was to make the children feel better about the trial. He had the courage to tell the kids the truth, right when there was a whole lot of lying going on in the courtroom, and risked them spreading his story. Another great example is that Tom Robinson, during his trial, had the courage to tell the truth about why he regularly helped Mayella. When Mr. Gilmer asked Tom why he was so obliged to do Mayella's chores for free, Tom ruined any chance he had of winning the case by answering, "I felt right sorry for her, she seemed to try more'n the rest of 'em," (224). Back in the 1930's in the southern hills of Maycomb County, Alabama, where this story takes place, how dare a black man feel sorry for a white woman. The white citizens of the south believed that blacks were the lowest of the low. Lower than trailer trash, like the Ewells. What Tom said contradicted the mindset of the time and he died because of it. Not many characters have the strength to tell the truth, however some do and the make a world of change.
Harper Lee, in To Kill a Mockingbird, shows the readers that having the ability to change is quite significant. Not everyone can, and change can take your life, shake it a bit and...
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