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In the short story To Kill A Mockingbird, author Harper Lee suggests that in certain situations people have the potential to show acts of courage

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Introduction

In our society it is generally believed that in order for someone to show courage, they must show it through physical acts of peril. The only type of courage that is ever heard of or praised is when someone nearly puts their life at risk to show their bravery. In the short story To Kill A Mockingbird, author Harper Lee suggests that in certain situations people have the potential to show acts of courage, great or small. Lee proposes this through characterization, plot and outcome. Throughout the novel there are many characters who show that they have courage. Atticus Finch teaches his children many lessons, and one of the most significant ones is his lesson on courage. He tries to show his children what true courage is, and that it can be shown in many different ways. Atticus shows his own courage when he steps up to shoot the mad dog, and the children learn something they never knew about their father. Atticus, however, does not want his children to feel that what he did was an example of real courage. ...read more.

Middle

Dubose' achievement , Atticus considered her "the bravest person [he] ever knew"(112). The lesson that Atticus had taught Scout about courage through his court case, was now being taught to Jem through Mrs. Dubose. Despite these characters' contributions of courage, the plot also had a major influence on the theme. The major plot line of the novel revolves around Atticus and his handling of the Tom Robinson case. The reason this plot is so interesting is because of the varying amounts of courage that Atticus must show in his quest to defend Tom. Taking the case was in itself courageous, but Atticus made sure that he successfully completed what it was he was assigned to do, which was to provide Tom with a fair trial. At one point in the novel, a group of men had gathered at Atticus' front porch. Heck Tate was informing Atticus that some of the men might try to do something to Tom. Atticus stood his ground and maintained that he made the right decision in accepting the case. ...read more.

Conclusion

The first thing he did was spit in Atticus' face. Atticus refused to stoop to Bob's level, and didn't retaliate. "He had to take it out on somebody and I'd rather it be me than that houseful of children out there" (218). Bob still was not satisfied, as he accused Atticus of stealing his job, attempted to break into Judge Taylor's house, and harassed Helen Robinson. He reached a new low, however, by going after Jem and Scout. Fortunately, it was Boo Radley who emerged from his house at the right time to save the children. After a brief scuffle with Bob, Mr. Arthur managed to stab him, killing Ewell. His courageous actions saved the children from possible death at the hands of Bob Ewell, and Scout got to see Arthur Radley for the first time. In summary, by means of the novel's characters, storyline and conclusion, Lee proposes that in a particular situation, people can discover elements of courage in order to overcome an obstacle or goal. To Kill A Mockingbird delves into the ideas of what it means to be truly courageous, and illustrates the idea that genuine bravery and ambition comes from within. ...read more.

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