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Courage in To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee Essay

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Harper Lee's novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" explores how courage can be shown in several important characters in the novel. They are Mrs. Dubose, Atticus, Jem and Maycomb county itself. Courage exists in several forms as cleverly depicted in the novel, such as childish courage, moral courage.

The first iconic character in the novel known for her split personality and great moral courage is Mrs. Dubose. She was a morphine addict and was addicted to morphine as a painkiller prescribed by her doctor for many years. Despite her being an old, frail lady, who could have just "make(made) things easier" by just continuing to take morphine as Atticus put it, she chose the other path contrary to popular beliefs. Instead, she persevered, choosing to "die beholden to nothing and no one", showing her sheer determination and will to live. Also, Atticus wanted Jem to read to Mrs. Dubose not only as a punishment for his misdeeds, but he also wanted to show Jem what true courage really was. He wanted to show Jem that a courageous person is not "a man with a gun in his hand", and that Mrs. Dubose was an excellent example and Atticus looks up to her despite her prejudiced remarks against him such as "nigger-lover". When Jem and Scout was reading to her, they were terrified of her "undulating lips" with "chords of saliva" dripping out of her mouth and that it had a "seperate existence of its own". What the children failed to see in the beginning was what lied underneath those gruesome series of withdrawal fits - true moral courage. Upon the death of Mrs. Dubose, Atticus also mentioned that "she won", not by having a gun in her hands, but with her sheer will power and determination. He hoped that Jem and Scout would be able to respect such a courage...


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...quences such as death, as long as he does what is morally right.

Lastly, Maycomb county also do present some forms of courage, as depicted by the scene of the fire breaking out in Miss Maudie's home. The people of Maycomb, in all codes of "dress and undress", and without hesitation, helped to shift "furniture" to "a yard" across her house. This shows that the people of Maycomb, who just woke up from sleep, who regardless of their dress code, went to help Miss Maudie, illustrating the courage and cohesion in Maycomb. Hence, it can be once again proved that there is good in everyone, despite the many flaws of Maycomb (such as their prejudice against blacks), the people are also courageous and helpful in times of crisis.

Therefore, it can be depicted in Harper Lee's novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" that courage is a prominent characteristic among the people in Maycomb


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