The novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee focuses on many themes but courage is mostly shown in the novel. In the novel, there are many examples where the characters have shown courage even when he/she knows that he/she is going to lose it. Atticus Finch is a great example of showing courage in the novel. He shows great courage because he defends a black man even though he knows he is going to lose the case. Another example of showing courage is Mrs. Dubose. She shows courage because she wants to break her morphine addiction even though she knows she is going to die. Boo Radley also shows courage in the novel when he comes out of isolation in order to save the children even though he knows he might be hurt into the spotlight. These three characters are the most important characters that will be featured about showing courage from the novel.
In the novel, Atticus expresses one of man’s highest ideals, courage in the face of defeat. Atticus is appointed to defend Tom Robinson, a Negro who was accused of raping Mayella Ewell. He simply is defending Tom because it was the right thing to do. He knows he would cause him troubles and perhaps his children will be involved, but Atticus is a very moral person. Another reason why he decides to defend Tom is to teach his children to do the right thing. Even though he accepted the case, he knows that he is going to lose: “‘Atticus, are we going to win it?’ ‘No, honey.’ ‘Then why–’ ‘simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win,’” (Lee 101). This shows that white people are being unfair to black people.
Mrs. Dubose also expresses one of man’s highest ideals, courage in the face of defeat. Mrs. Dubose is an old woman who lives two blocks away from the Finches. She is addicted to morphine, a drug that is used to kill pain. Since she takes a lot of morphine for years, she doesn’t feel any pain. When Jem got in trouble, Atticus told him to apologize to Mrs. Dubose. Mrs. Dubose tells him to read for her two hours a day for a month. It seems that Atticus is punishing Jem at first. Mrs. Dubose says cruel things to Atticus such as being a trash and is no better than a black person. Jem then pulls out many camellias and leaves on Mrs. Dubose’s property because he is anguished by her comments about Atticus. After Mrs. Dubose dies, Atticus tells Jem that Mrs. Dubose wants to break here habit: “‘she said she was going to leave this world beholden to nothing and nobody. Jem, when you’re sick as she was, it’s all right for her. She said she meant to break herself of it before she died, and that’s what she did.”’ (Lee 148). Even though Atticus is being commented badly by Mrs. Dubose, Atticus acknowledges her as the bravest person he knows.
Boo Radley is a great example of expressing one of the man’s highest ideal, courage in the face of defeat. Boo Radley...