Courage in "To Kill a Mockingbird"

Authors Avatar

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. She always stayed true to her beliefs, albeit they were old-fashioned and downright unpopular. Most courageous of her deeds was her sheer will to rid herself of her drug affliction. She inspired Atticus to call her “…the bravest person I ever knew.”  Atticus sees Dubose as a good person because she was willing to suffer so much to fight the good fight. Atticus says that courage is “…when you know your licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through, no matter what.” Overall Mrs. Dubose was not a nice person but with her quality of courage, she was still a “good” individual in the end.

Join now!

        Tom Robinson was courageous to help poor Mayella Ewell. He showed great bravery when he tried to help her with her work, although the danger of doing so was imminent and he received nothing in return. He was also very courageous when he delivered his testimony although he said, “I was scared.” 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 ...

This is a preview of the whole essay