Harper Lee introduced the concept of courage through multiple characters and situations throughout the novel. The characters are challenged to face danger or pain without fear. The courage they displayed gave them strength and deepened their self-understanding as the novel progressed.
Early in the novel, Scout illustrated the courage she stood for. On her first day of school, Scout acted as a leader for the entire class and she took the duty of informing Miss Caroline of Walter Cunningham's situation. Miss Caroline had just scolded Scout for her ability to read, however Scout still felt the classes' need for a leader. Most children at her age would fear speaking to the teacher is such a bold manner. Scout showed maturity for her age, and this allowed her to act upon her courage, rather than hiding it. Walter Cunningham, himself, was shy and fearful of speaking to the teacher. Scout overcame the fears that plagued the rest of the class and acted out of Walter's best interest. Her courage spoke in Walter's inability to express his situation at that time. Jem was faced with a courageous situation in regards to the children’s involvement with the Radley house. His courage came from the fear of disappointing Atticus and having to live with his disapproval. The threat of Mr. Radley implants fear within Jem but he overcomes this fear in order to sustain Atticus' faith. Being his only son places pressure upon Jem to set an example of pride within his father. The possibility of being shot is an obstacle Jem must overcome with courage.
A significant representation of courage is seen within Atticus. Within To Kill A Mockingbird Atticus speaks of the Tom Robinson trial as a trial all lawyers fear. He must face a court case that will have a deep personal effects on himself and his family. Atticus finds the courage to recognize that there is a need for justice and that it is his duty to achieve it. Maycomb is a town full with stereotypes and racism and Atticus...
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