The novel that has inspired me the most is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I first read the book when I was thirteen years old. Since then, I have reread the novel at least twice a year. There are many features of the novel that has touched me in a profound way. However, there is one aspect that distinguishes this book as my absolute favorite and as the novel that enthuses me: its description of courage. The honorable feature that the novel contains that most inspires me is its truly unique portrayal of courage. The main character, a lawyer named Atticus Finch, states that, “[Real courage is] when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.” In other words, true courage is trying to do what is right even if you know you are most likely going to lose. Indeed, Atticus does just that. In a town located in the Deep South during the 1930s that is highly prejudiced against African Americans, Atticus defends an innocent black man accused of rape by a white man and his daughter. In the months leading up to the trial, Atticus and his family, specifically his children, experience resentment from the townspeople. Atticus himself realizes that, “[he] won’t win.” Despite this, Atticus presses on, but ultimately, he loses the case. Inspiringly, even though Atticus knew he would not win the case, he tried anyway because he knew it was the right thing to do. Because of its inimitable portrayal of courage, To Kill a Mockingbird is the book that inspires me most. I can only hope when I am faced with an ethical dilemma that will affect my family and me negatively, that I will have the courage to do what I know to be morally right.
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