The Important Aspect of Courage

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, Truman Capote Pages: 5 (1906 words) Published: January 6, 2013
Mme Hayes
28. Nov. 2012
The important aspects of courage
In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee was published in the 1960s when the civil rights movement was growing and striving to attain equal rights for the African-Americans. In her novel, Lee shows that it takes courage to stand up against injustice. First, the judgemental characteristic of Aunt Alexandra displays the fear of rejection from her town which proves that she does not have the courage to stand up against the injustice and prejudice that exists in her town. Secondly, Atticus’s courage is shown by standing up for what he thinks is right despite the insults and degrading names the citizens of Maycomb throw at him. Thirdly, the great value that withholds behind the lessons taught by their father helps Jem and Scout have guidance to gain courage to stand up against the town’s worldview. First, the judgemental characteristic of Aunt Alexandra displays the fear of rejection from her town which proves that she does not have the courage to stand up against the injustice and prejudice that exists in her town. She has showed her concern of Scout becoming a tomboy, as she later decides to move in with her brother to provide a female influence in the children’s lives. Aunt Alexandra has evidently portrayed her concern about Scout’s femininity as she partakes in the activities that Jem and his friend Dill engage in which doesn’t settle well with her aunt as she explains, “I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches; when I said I could do nothing in a dress, she said i wasn’t supposed to do anything that required pants.” (Lee 92) This description is said from Scout but displays the judgemental stereotypical side of Aunt Alexandra as she explains to Scout that girls should wear dresses and partake in female activities such as: playing dress up, drinking tea with the girls and etc. which shows that girls should not be doing anything that required pants. This example was clearly stereotypical and as Atticus, the lawyer defending a black man by the name of Tom was courageous enough to go against the worldview of his town, Alexandra told his children that it “"If Uncle Atticus lets you run around with stray dogs, that's his own business, like Grandma says, so it ain't your fault. I guess it ain't your fault if Uncle Atticus is a nigger-lover besides, but I'm here to tell you it certainly does mortify the rest of the family" (94). This quote proves that Aunt Alexandra is not courageous enough to stand up against injustice that exists in her town instead she fears that the Finches popularity will plummet may be well-founded. The next point is strengthened as the story progresses to the final stage of Scout’s development. As she, tries to confront her aunt’s classist views. Scout believes, she has misjudged Walter Cunningham, deciding to invite him to the Finch house. Aunt Alexandra responds saying “Don't be silly, Jean Louise,' said Aunt Alexandra. ‘The thing is, you can scrub Walter Cunningham till he shines, you can put him in shoes and a new suit, but he'll never be like Jem. Besides, there's a drinking streak in that family a mile wide. Finch women aren't interested in that sort of people” (255). Aunt Alexandra displays several aspects of classism into her comment. She retracts all physical attributes that mark him as a lower class citizen, intimidating that Walter will never live up to the highborn Jem. Aunt Alexandra views class as an indicator for a person’s worth, while Jem and Scout believe everyone is the same inside. Scout knows she will not win this argument but exhibits courage in trying to hold her off as long as she could. She is standing up for her beliefs regardless of the outcome of the argument. Scout has not only realized the wrongdoing of classism inflicts, but is now aware enough to set about trying to rectify the misdeeds. In realizing the difficulty of changing people's attitudes...
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