To Kill a Mockingbird: Examples of Courage

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I remember believing that no matter what I did, I would never accomplish riding a bike by myself. In the summer of fifth grade, my friend Amy gave me bike lessons. I always felt confident riding with Amy because she would hold onto the bike, and I knew I would not fall. One day, she told me it was time for me to ride the bike alone. I suddenly got nervous. I knew I could not do it, but I was willing to try it. I started pedaling and she held onto the bike. I closed my eyes for awhile and when I opened them I looked back, but Amy was not next to me, she was far behind. I was astonished, I was riding a bike all by myself and I knew what courage felt like after that moment. In To Kill a Mockingbird Atticus explains the true meaning of courage. He said that courage is to be able to do something knowing that you might fail attempting to do it, not using a weapon. I believe Atticus is correct; courage is doing something even if not accomplishing it.

To some, courage is carrying a gun and using it to kill others. In To Kill a Mockingbird there are many examples of people believing courage means to hurt others. Miss. Maudie told Scout that her father was the “One-Shot Finch” but that he would never shoot until he had to. “Look like he’d be proud of it” (130). Scout suggested that her father should be happy and showing off his unique shooting skills. To Scout, the idea of her father shooting and killing Tim Johnson, a mad dog, is courageous. Scout may be right; it was courageous of her father shooting the mad dog that could have done harm to the other townspeople. But Scout is wrong; she is misunderstanding the true definition of courage. Even if shooting the mad dog was courageous, what makes it courageous is that her father was still willing to shoot the dog knowing that he might have missed or the fact that he did not want to shoot at all. To others, courage is using a weapon and killing others, but they are wrong. The true meaning of courage is what Atticus...
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