Courage and Cowardice in To Kill a Mockingbird

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In Harper Lee’s autobiographical narrative, To Kill a Mockingbird, characters like Atticus, Dolphus Raymond, and Tom Robinson demonstrate many forms of courageous behavior; in contrast, characters like Bob Ewell demonstrate cowardice. From these characters, Harper Lee’s audience learns that there are many characters in this book that are brave. Atticus demonstrates bravery by being true to himself and being a great role model for his kids. On page 99, Atticus tells Scout, “Of course I do. Don’t say nigger Scout. That’s common.” By what Atticus says, the reader can presume that Atticus didn’t care about what other people thought about him. He isn’t a racist unlike the rest of the citizens in Maycomb County. Atticus is like this for one reason; it’s not fair and Atticus’ duty as a lawyer and it’s just the way he is. Atticus lives a life of integrity and with morales. He is brave enough to face other people and doesn’t let them affect him and his values. Atticus also says to Scout, “Scout, I couldn’t go to church and worship God if I didn’t try to help that man.” (pg. 139) Atticus stays true to himself and doesn’t let other people’s beliefs affect his own beliefs. He helps Scout understand that everyone should be treated equally. Another character in the novel that demonstrated bravery was Dolphus Raymond. He was brave because he let everyone know that he loves an African American when it wasn’t right in other peoples’ eyes. He says, “They could never, never understand that I live like I do because that’s the way I want to live.” (pg. 268) The reason why he lives this way is because he prefers African Americans. Dolphus Raymond even has mixed children with his wife. Another reason why he is brave is because he has a different mindset speaking as a white man; he believes that white people give hell to black people and that it is wrong. Tom Robinson was a character who demonstrated bravery. Atticus says, “Courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin

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