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Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

1045 words - 4 pages

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

Courage is the quality of mind that enables one to face danger with confidence, resolution, and gain a firm control of oneself. Many of the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird showed courage in their own way. Courage can come in many different forms: physical, mental, emotional and moral. Courage is not the only main theme displayed in To Kill a Mockingbird; prejudice and education are also very important themes exhibited throughout the progression of the novel. Through the eyes of Scout Finch, a bright, sensitive and intelligent little girl, these themes of the novel are explored in great depth.

The many forms of courage are shown throughout the novel by the characters of Jem, Boo (Arthur), Mrs. Dubose, and Atticus. Jem showed one of the greatest acts of physical courage as he protected his little sister Scout from the attack of Bob Ewell on the night of Halloween. Boo was also very courageous, he lived many years without human contact. That is a lonely thing to do, and it took mental courage for him to try and reach out to Jem and Scout when his father kept him imprisoned. Emotional courage is shown through Mrs. Dubose; she was a morphine addict and it took great courage for her to quit before her death to ¡°die beholden to nothing and nobody¡±. Atticus is one of the most courageous characters in the novel. He showed moral courage when he defended a black man who was falsely charged with the rape of a white woman. He stood up for his believes despite of what the people of Maycomb thought of him as a ¡°Nigger lover¡± and a disgrace to his family.

Prejudice is a strong opinion an individual may possess for or against someone without knowing all the facts about them. It can be passed down from generation to generation. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird there are numerous accounts of racism and prejudice. The novel is set in the 1930's, a time when racism was very prevalent. Although bigotry and segregation were pointed in majority towards blacks, other accounts towards whites were also heard of, though not as commonly. Anyone that is out of the ordinary from society is treated differently because of their dissimilarities. The most obvious example in the novel would be Tom Robinson. An innocent, hard working, warm-hearted black man who went out of his way to help Mayella only to end up with seventeen bullet holes in his body. Tom was charged with rape and death penalty based on, and only on the colour of his skin. This shows the racial intolerance the white people in Maycomb have towards African-Americans.

During this time in history racism was acceptable, not only those who were black, but also those who affiliated with blacks, were also considered inferior. Atticus and Mr. Dolphus Raymond were both treated unfairly because of their non-segregation believes. Mr. Dolphus Raymond pretended to be a drunk so he didn't have to explain the fact that he was simply in love with a black woman. The...

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