Courage Essay

1141 words - 5 pages

Macquarie Dictionary defines as; "The quality of mind that enables one to encounter difficulties and danger with firmness or without fear; bravery"

To Kill a Mockingbird: Courage

Macquarie Dictionary defines courage as, "The quality of mind that enables one to encounter difficulties and danger with firmness or without fear; bravery". According to Atticus Finch though, courage is, "Courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what." (Chapter 11, Page 124). No matter how it is defined, courage can be explored in many different ways. One of the main themes in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is courage.

The book explores courage in man different lights. It is divided into many different parts, such as physical, emotional and moral courage. These three being the main types of courage discussed within the novel. It is shown within the characters in several situations.�The characters are challenged to face danger or pain without fear.�The courage they display gives them strength and deepens their self-understanding as the novel progresses.

Emotional courage means leaving your comfort zone rather than living in a small but seemingly safer world.� It means that we can have the courage to suffer if it enables us to grow and live a bigger or better life. Emotional courage is displayed many times throughout the novel. It is how Jem develops and learns from his experiences, trying to change what he knows is almost impossible. Although it is difficult to identify it at times, it develops within certain characters form beginning till end.

Mrs. Dubose is a great example of emotional courage. Although she is described as the children as a racist old bigot, Jem comes to realise, with the help of Atticus, that even after what Mrs. Dubose says about Atticus, that she is only sick and does not understand what she is saying. "Your father's no better than the niggers and trash he works for!" (Chapter 11, Page 113), she shots as the children pass b her house one day. When he bad-mouths Atticus, Jem feels humiliated and angry. To settle things, he sets off to sabotage Mrs Dubose's camellias. Later though, when Atticus learns of this stunt, he agrees with her suggested punishment and is made to read to her every afternoon, for a month. She suggests this as a punishment to help distract her from her regular morphine addiction. Atticus realises this and so informs the children that they must attend to her. She knew that she was not to live for long, but she is still emotionally courageous enough to stop her addiction, due to her belief that she wanted to die without such an impurity attached to her name. It wasn't until after she passed away that Atticus explained to Jem and Scout how courageous she had been. She fought against great odds, even though she knew that she would most certainly die.

Physical courage...

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