A great man named Steve Jobs once said “Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition” (Steve Jobs) Mr. Jobs advice is applicable to everyday life whether it be confronting a bully, asking out a crush or saving someone from a burning building. Similarly in Harper Lee’s influential time less novel To Kill a Mockingbird there are numerous characters that helped to establish the theme of courage. The three primary characters that did this they are Tom Robinson, Mrs. Dubose and finally Atticus Finch who is one of the most inspirational characters in the novel.
Tom Robinson may have been as innocent as a Mockingbird but do not be misled as he had the courage of a lion. Tom Robinson is only a young man at the age of 25 he has barely lived life and yet he had the courage to walk in to a courtroom where nearly every person wanted him dead and despite all odds he testified. This is how the scene started Judge Taylor asked Atticus “How many witnesses you got “(Lee 253). “One” (Lee 253) says Atticus “We call him Tom Robinson reaches around” (Lee 254). This quote demonstrated that Tom Robinson showed courage by testifying at court, even though he knew the jury would not take an African Americans word against a white woman’s but he made sure that he got the truth out there to the public even though he knew he lost before he started. At the end of it he is psychologically worn down and depressed because after having gone through all that he still is accused of being guilty. Nevertheless Tom Robinson still went out fighting and if that is not courage, what is.
Mrs. Dubose is superb a role model for courage. She has been battling addiction for the majority of her life and finally succeeded after fighting for a lifetime. After fighting and winning the battle Unfortunately Mrs. Dubose died and when scout asked Atticus about her and he said “Mrs. Dubose is a morphine addict, said Atticus. She took it as a pain-killer for years. The doctor put her on it. She’d have spent the rest of her life on it and died without so much agony, but she was too contrary” (Lee 147). This quote shows us that Mrs. Dubose is a great example of courage not just because of the blatantly obvious fact that she overcame and defeated her morphine addiction but because of a deeper meaning. The reason is that it takes a great deal of courage to recognize that one has an issue and takes even more to do something about it. Courage is the ability to do something that frightens one or in other words it is simply bravery and that fits Mrs. Dubose’s description perfectly.
The word courage and the respectable name of Atticus Finch are synonymous. Atticus Finch proved to be one of the most courageous characters in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. This scene began with scout questioning why everyone in the town is hating on their family and Atticus says “I’m simply defending a negro—his name is Tom Robinson” (Lee 100). That tells us a couple of things about Atticus one being It takes a man with a great deal of courage to face the negative pressures that one would face from the society back in 1930’s one of the most discriminatory times in history. Racism is a very strong influence but it is not enough to persuade the great Atticus Finch to disregard his own code of ethics. He went against all odds and even risked his professional and social reputation as well as his physical safety all just to defend a penniless black man falsely accused of sexually assaulting a white woman. In the end despite the unfortunate guilty verdict chosen by the jury, many would still say that Atticus did successfully prove the innocence of Tom Robinson who is after all a human being with just a different pigmentation. Atticus Finch is the utmost courageous man in the novel for what he did. Atticus Finch lived and breathed courage. Tom Robinson, Mrs. Dubose and Atticus are the characters that brought the meaning of courage to the powerful novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Courage is the ability to do something that frightens one or in other words it is simply bravery, all three of these inspirational characters did something that no one else would dare to attempt. Some lost their lives in the process but the thing is happy endings don’t always exist. If you go out fighting and live a life of bravery and do what others could not, you may die in the process and leave earth but your courage lives on.
By: Shawn M Amersi