• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Courage in "To Kill a Mockingbird"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Courage in "To Kill a Mockingbird" What is courage? How do YOU define courage? Hollywood, as usual, tends to get it wrong. Courage is not the bravado gun-slinging action hero type figure. A better definition of courage can be found in "To Kill a Mockingbird" through the actions of an old woman who overcomes her drug addiction, not because it is easy but because it is hard, an African American who helps out a young white woman, despite the dangers this presents in a southern town during the 1930's and by Atticus Finch, a lawyer who dares to defy the immoral standards of society when he truly defends an African American man on trial for rape. Mrs. Dubose was very courageous despite being a nasty, stubborn, mean-spirited old woman. ...read more.

Middle

Tom had known the danger of his situation, yet he was still very concerned for Mayella Ewell and he made sure not to hurt her, although she had been responsible for getting him into the bad situation in the first place. Scout began to understand this, "It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived." "I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand." The greatest demonstration of courage of all is Atticus' fight for Tom Robinson's life. He is wise enough to know that the prejudices of people will never allow justice to be done, but at the same time, he is determined that the truth be told so that those who convict Tom Robinson will be aware that they are convicting an innocent man. ...read more.

Conclusion

It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do." Atticus stays true to this through the whole novel. Harper Lee beautifully illustrates courage through her character's actions and words. Mrs. Dubose is a cold-hearted old woman but her decency shines through when she shows great courage, facing her drug addiction and ending it. Tom Robinson is courageous through his kindness despite the physical dangers of doing so. Atticus Finch defines courage by downplaying his ability to shoot the mad dog, leading a crusade to let the truth be heard about what really happened to Mayella Ewell and lastly by deciding to keep secret the fact that Boo Radley killed Bob Ewell. Atticus defines and represents courage absolutely in "To Kill a Mockingbird" and in the end Scout has learned that courage is using her mind to solve problems, rather than her fists ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Harper Lee section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Harper Lee essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    To Kill a Mocking Bird Essay. In the book, To kill a Mockingbird, Harper ...

    5 star(s)

    The book is also structured so that the chapters are not in chronological order. The story, as mentioned, starts off as Scout, who is an adult reflecting on Jem's broken arm which allows the narrator to trace back to the events that contributed to the broken arm.

  2. Who is Atticus Finch? What is his purpose in Maycomb? Carefully and thoroughly, Harper ...

    As they passed under a street light, Atticus reached out and massaged Jem's hair, his one gesture of affection," (pg. 169) reminding his son, as well as the reader, that Atticus is capable of quietly expressing his fatherly love for his children while still shaping their moral guidelines.

  1. Social Classes in To Kill a Mockingbird

    and it has caused nothing but destruction to the people of this world. Lula a character found in the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is an excellent example of the awareness that people have of the segregation that takes place between the social classes.

  2. How do Tom Robinson and Boo Radley conform to the Mockingbird Type?

    hands were bloodstained...a long jagged scar ran across his face, what teeth he had were yellow and rotton...' He is created by Scout, as some kind of evil monster and this impression continues quite a way through the book, as the children strive to see him, playing games involving running up to his house etc.

  1. How effective is Harper Lee's title of To Kill a Mockingbird?

    squirrels and any cats he could catch, that's why his hands were blood-stained - if you ate an animal raw, you could never wash the blood off. There was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time."

  2. Analysis of To Kill A Mockingbird from the aspects of literary elements and devices ...

    As Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States stated, ?equal right for all, special privileges for none?. In relation to the theme of social inequality, another theme can also be derived from the novel that is racism towards African American or commonly referred as black people.

  1. There are many parallels between the poor state of education in the Detroit Public ...

    The Detroit News | Detnews.com | Thursday, March 4, 2010 | News, Sports, Features, Blogs, Photos and Forums from Detroit and Michigan. Web. 04 Mar. 2010. <http://detnews.com/article/20100204/METRO/2040464/DPS-to-make-textbooks-all-digital-in-5-years>. This article gives detail regarding the project that the City of Detroit School District has with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing (HMH)

  2. To Kill a Mockingbird Themes

    They slowly mature through the novel and start losing the habit of playing around carelessly and freely. In contrary, as the Finch kids lose innocence and mature they also take on some responsibilities and morals. Such moral, ethics and responsibilities are like when Jem refuses to go bother Boo Radley

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work