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To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee Shows Doing Right Is Not Always Easy

1130 words - 5 pages

Doing the right thing is not always easy. In the classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee the characters Atticus, Boo, and Jem are faced with many of life’s obstacles. Each character must dig deeply into themselves to truly discover the difference between right and wrong. It takes a great deal of courage to face inner fears and make the right decision. Some of the character’s behavior is typical while some is atypical. Throughout the novel Atticus, Boo and Jem demonstrate, through actions, the important theme that everyone is brave in their own way.
Atticus Finch shows through his actions that bravery can show up in many different ways. Although he lives in Alabama, surrounded by racists, Atticus shows extreme bravery in the way he defends Tom Robinson. Not only does Atticus defend Tom Robinson’s case in the courtroom, he also pours his heart and soul into protecting Robinson and his whole family from the angry mobs of Maycomb. When Atticus explains to Scout and Jem, “I couldn’t hold up my head in town, I couldn’t represent this county in legislature, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do something again,” he models bravery and the importance of doing the right thing even under the most difficult circumstances (Lee 75). This is typical behavior for Atticus Finch. Standing up to the whole town of Maycomb is not an easy thing to do, but Atticus is determined to show his children to stand up for what they believe in and take time to understand others. However, this action could be regarded as atypical behavior in the 1930s in Maycomb, Alabama. Southern Society scorned any white person who would help a black man. On the other hand, when Jem sees Atticus pull the trigger and shoot a rabid dog, who is threatening the neighborhood, in one quick shot, he is impressed. It seems out of character to see Atticus so quick to pull the trigger. Miss Maudie is watching from her yard and says knowingly, “I saw that, one –shot Finch!” (Lee 97). This side of Atticus is shocking to Jem because he has only seen his father as an older, eloquent speaking lawyer, who always seems to think before he acts. Jem didn’t know that as a young man, Atticus was one of the best marksmen in town. Obviously, when he is protecting his family and the town’s people Atticus will do whatever it takes. Ironically, this would be considered typical behavior in a town like Maycomb, but it was not typical for Atticus. Atticus exemplifies bravery both typically and atypically, throughout the novel.
By protecting Jem and Scout Boo Radley also shows, through his actions, that everyone is courageous in their own way. At the beginning of the novel Boo Radley seems like a mysterious, shy captive. His family has basically kept him locked away in his home since he got into trouble with the law as a teenager. After years of unfair captivity Boo lashes out, “As Mr. Radley passed by, Boo drove the scissors into his parent’s leg” (Lee 11). At this point in the...

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