To Kill a Mockingbird: Courage in a Small Town

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Courage in a Small Town

“The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment, but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy. A man does what he must-in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures-and that is the basis of all morality” (John F. Kennedy). Courage is demonstrated in the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. In this story, Atticus Finch finds inner strength to defend an innocent black man of a horrible crime against a white girl in a small Alabama town filled with racism and prejudice. In the realistic fiction novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee, the story shows that people express courage in many different ways, through Mrs. Dubose and Miss Maudie’s battle to handle personal misfortune, Jem and Scout’s guts to handle prejudices with some people of Maycomb, and Atticus’s fearlessness to face danger without violence. Some forms of courage are shown when Mrs. Dubose fights to win over her drug addiction and when Miss Maudie’s house burns down. After Mrs. Dubose dies, Atticus tells Jem: “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what” (Lee 116). Mrs. Dubose takes on the challenge to overcome her drug addiction even though it will be very painful and she will soon die. She dies a brave old lady knowing she accomplishes the tough goal to be free of morphine addiction. It takes incredible courage to overcome a lifelong addiction. Great strength and will power is needed to overcome something that someone is battling over for years. In addition, after her house burns down Miss Maudie says to Jem: “Always wanted a smaller house, Jem Finch. Gives me more yard. Just think, I’ll have more room for my azaleas now!” (Lee 77). After a horrible fire, some people...
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