To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

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In the novel ‘To Kill A mockingbird’ by Harper Lee there were many themes, the theme I thought was worth learning about was courage. The ideas to learn about courage were that there are two types of courage, physical and moral, and that Lee and I both clearly agree that moral courage is more important than physical courage. Through the actions of Atticus and Mrs Dubose, Lee shows us that this idea is worth learning about.

We see Atticus’ physical courage in the mad dog incident. Tim Johnson, a liver-coloured bird dog who was Maycomb’s pet. He came down the street looking sick, so the maid of the Finches house declared it was a mad dog and told the neighbourhood via telephone. When Atticus and Mr Heck Tate, the town sheriff, got the news, they came in a car back to the Finches house. Mr Heck Tate had a bad eye and the dog was too far away so Atticus was forced to shoot the mad dog. When the mad dog was killed, Atticus’ children were impressed at the accuracy their father has with a gun. They are impressed because they were under the impression that their father was old and could not do anything, whereas most of their friend’s fathers could, e.g. play catch with a baseball, or play gridiron. When the children went to Miss Maudie’s house, Miss Maudie told the children that their father was known as Ol’ One Shot when he was younger. Miss Maudie also explained that Atticus “must have realised that God gave him an unfair advantage over most living things” which is why he put down the gun. When the children talk to each other about why Atticus never told them about his talent. Atticus later went on to tell them that “courage isn’t a man with a gun”. Through Atticus shooting the dog, shows us his physical courage and his children are impressed.

The children are very impressed with Atticus’ physical courage but he uses the incident with Mrs Dubose to show there is a more important type of courage. Mrs Dubose is an old lady who has little patience with the children...
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