The True Meaning of Courage

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, Atticus Finch Pages: 3 (1202 words) Published: November 9, 2010
Most people define courage as a dangerous physical act to defend from others, but Atticus Finch shows it from a whole new different perspective. Atticus represents many types of courage and bravery in To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus not only exemplifies a stern yet fair attitude towards Jem and Scout, but he also shows this mindset at the courtroom. He reveals bravery from the start of the novel, all the way to the finish. During the course of the novel, Atticus displays many examples of courage. In the beginning of the novel, Atticus shows courage right away. The first example occurs when Miss Caroline forbids Scout to read. Scout explains to Atticus why she wants to quit school and how he could just teach her himself. With Atticus replying “‘if you’ll concede the necessity of going to school we’ll go on reading every night just as we always have. Is it a bargain?’”31. Miss Caroline specifically tells Scout not to let Atticus read to her, but Atticus goes against Miss Caroline’s authorities and does it anyway. As a solitary father in his late life, Atticus had to raise two young fledglings, Jem and Scout. ‘Our mother died when I was two, so I never felt her absense’’6. Among all things, raising Jem and Scout by himself would probably be one of the toughest. It takes a lot of courage and responsibility to raise two kids by oneself. Another display of Atticus and his courage occurs when he shoots the rabid dog even though he hasn’t fired a gun in years. ““I haven’t shot a gun in thirty years-” Mr. Tate almost threw the rifle at Atticus. “I’d feel mighty comfortable if you did now’’ he said. With movements so swift they seemed simultaneous, Atticus’s hand yanked a ball-tipped lever as he brought the gun to his shoulder. The rifle cracked.””96. He accepts the authority to bring the dog down in one shot, knowing that if he misses disaster will result. Atticus never revealed this fact to his children because he did not want to be seen as a man of...
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