An Essay Comparing The Subject Of Courage In To Kill A Mockingbird by
Harper Lee and The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
The dictionary states that "Courage" is bravery/boldness or to nerve
oneself to a venture. This idea is shown in both The Colour Purple and
To Kill A Mockingbird in similar and in different ways.
The Colour Purple involves courage to stand up against certain people,
rather than morals and ideas, which is the main issue in To Kill A
Mockingbird. Celie is the central character who has the most examples
of courage although there are other people. In To Kill A Mockingbird,
every character has his/her own views on courage which are expressed
widely throughout the book.
In To Kill A Mockingbird, Scout, who may be seen as the narrator, has
her first chance to show her courage when she has to stand up to the
new teacher and try to explain to her about the different pupils and
what happens in the school. All the other children urge her to say
something, as they are too afraid themselves.
In contrast, in The Colour Purple, there is no courage when Celie
knows that her father has taken her child and killed it in the woods,
yet she does nothing about it, as she is scared of him.
"He took it while I was sleeping. Kilt it out there in the woods."
Scout, always tries to understand other's views - which is why she
goes to read to Mrs. Dubose with Jem and finally understands her. On
the other hand, in The Colour Purple, Harpo (the oldest son), never
tries to understand how much work Celie has and takes her for granted.
It is only when Mr.___'s (his name is never mentioned) sister comer to
visit, that Celie gains support, but even then, she loses. It took
courage for Kate (the sister) to stand up to Mr.___ even though she
came back shaking
"She stay out on the porch talking a little while, then she come back
in, shaking. Got to go, Celie, she say."
In To Kill A Mockingbird, it took Scout, a total tomboy, a lot of
courage to turn down a fight because of her father's morals. Even
though Scout came across as a coward, Atticus (her father) was very
proud of her as this showed her courage.
In The Colour Purple, also in defence of a family member, Celie tells
"...I'll take care of you- with God's help".
Nettie is scared of her father and Celie is putting on a brave face to
make her feel better.
Mrs. Dubose is one character, in To Kill A Mockingbird, who shows a
lot of courage- subtle courage. Mrs.Dubose was a morphine addict and
even though she had many outrageous mood swings, she was admired
greatly by Atticus, before and after she died.
"Mrs. Dubose was a morphine addict. I wanted you to see something
about her-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. She was the
bravest person I ever knew."
Throughout the Colour Purple, Celie is shunned by members of her
community, degraded and not always...