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Essay courage-integrity

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What has Harper Lee got to say about courage/integrity and what methods does she use to present these themes? There are lots of examples of characters having courage and integrity in the book, a sign that Harper Lee believes these values to be important. A main technique that she uses to get the reader to see the messages in the book is using Scout's viewpoint. An effect of using Scout's viewpoint is that she often does not understand the reasoning behind decisions that integrity is a factor of. This naivety gives Lee a reason to use another character to explain values to Scout - and therefore explaining the reasons to the reader themselves. One example of this is on page 30, when the family have Walter Cunningham over for dinner. Calpurnia says "Don't matter who they are, anybody sets foot in this house's yo' comp'ny". This quote is telling Scout that she should treat everyone with the same respect, telling her something that she did not otherwise understand. It shows an example of the characters having integrity in the book, even Calpurnia (who in this time period is considered as inferior). It shows that everyone should have some sort of morals. ...read more.


The main reason why it is funny is that it is an inappropriate time to talk about this, but she does it anyway. In this way, morals and integrity are also shown in this extract, and Atticus has played an important part. Scout also doesn't realise that she is being brave, as she doesn't understand the situation. One main method Lee has used to present integrity is by putting in the character of Atticus. Atticus has a lot of moral values, integrity and courage, and he is often around to teach Jem and Scout a lesson. A definition of integrity is "morally firm" and this is definitely a way to describe Atticus. The main example of this is of course the fact that he is defending Tom Robinson, even though he knows that he will very probably lose the case. We see that he knows this when he says, on page 82 "Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us to try not to win". This shows that he has a sense of integrity, because he trying to win a case that he knows he can't. ...read more.


This really only shows that Atticus is obviously more mature and has learnt more about life in general. A contrast between Atticus, Scout and some other residents of Maycomb is also quite effective in showing integrity and courage in the book. We see Atticus doing what he believes is right regardless of what everyone else thinks, and we see the other residents of Maycomb just trying to fit in. If we only had people and characters like Atticus in the book, the reader might believe it is normal for people to have behaved like that, but having other people emphasises how moral Atticus is. Making the character of Scout so blunt and na�ve also contributes to showing how much integrity Atticus has, and how it is important to have it in life. This is a much cleverer method that Lee has used of showing that courage and integrity are important themes in the book. The themes of courage and integrity run throughout the book with the main example of them being Atticus defending Tom Robinson. Lee clearly wanted to make these values important in the book and so created many opportunities and used different characters so that they can be shown effectively. Laura Clark 10G ...read more.

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