Atticus - Symbol of Courage
In some ways, courage is demonstrated through an individual’s determination to fight for what is right. In the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee shows the courage of Atticus through his struggle with the racism of the town as he attempts to defend Tom Robinson in a court of law. Tom Robinson, a black man, is a victim of the racism that is rampant in the town of Maycomb. Atticus is well known for his good character, and is often expected to do the right thing. To uphold his sense of justice, Atticus agrees to defend Tom Robinson. His moral code often leads to conflicts with fellow members of the town of Maycomb. Despite this, Atticus continues to defend Tom, knowing if he doesn’t do it an innocent man will be falsely charged. Harper Lee suggests courage is shown when the individual with integrity will rise to the occasion to do the right thing, even if it means going against society. Atticus demonstrates courage by defending Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of rape, despite the criticisms from the residents of Maycomb. Atticus knows that he will not be able to win as he is “licked” before he begins. He struggles with the racism that it is persistent in the town of Maycomb. Nevertheless, Atticus knows that Tom Robinson is innocent, and he must defend him, since no one else will. Even though the situation is bleak, Atticus wants the town of Maycomb to hear the truth about Tom Robinson, saying, “that boy might go to the chair, but he is not going till the truth’s told”. It is his strong sense of morality and justice that motivates him to defend Tom Robinson no matter what. He understands that taking the case would make him an object of scorn and ridicule. Throughout the novel, Atticus is called various names such as “nigger-lover” by many members of the community as well as his family. Even his sister is opposes his decision of defending Tom Robinson, saying that Atticus was a disgrace for the...
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