To Kill A Mockingbird Essay

1674 words - 7 pages

“If you shouldn’t be defendin‘ him, then why are you doin’ it?", Scout asks Atticus. (Lee 75). Atticus is thoroughly conscious of the consequences of fighting for equality, however he nevertheless proceeds to attempt to save an innocent man. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee demonstrates that courage, whether it be physical or moral, exposes the content of character ultimately altering society’s depiction of who one is in terms of identity. The novel displays many various forms of valor that exemplify this. They include the courage to support one's beliefs, to change, and to overcome obstacles.
Within the town of Maycomb, supporting what one believes in results in chaos and heaps of negativity. This is exemplified when Atticus accepts Tom Robinson’s case. Atticus strongly supports equality and believes Tom is innocent, leading him to disregard the continuous criticism brought forth by the citizens of Maycomb and accept his case anyhow. One can observe this when Scout asks Atticus why he chose to defend Tom, and he replies saying: "For a number of reasons...The main one is, if I didn’t I couldn’t hold up my head in town, I couldn’t represent this county in the legislature, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do something again" (75). Atticus Finch is a man who has lived his whole live abiding the norms of society, if he were to reject the case he would destroy every moral right he once stood for. One sees his character, and understands that Atticus will set himself up for ridicule and a war against his own hometown, to protect an innocent man. Arthur Radley demonstrates one of the most significant signs of courage throughout the course of the novel. He exemplifies courage by not giving into the norms of the town, and instead living the life he prefers to lead. Arthur becomes the ghost of the town, leading the children to have mixed perceptions of his character. Jem states that "Boo was about six-and-a half feet tall...he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch... there was a long jagged scar that ran across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped out and he drooled most of the time" (13). Arthur's nonexistent interest in partaking with the town of Maycomb; results in him being ridiculed, misunderstood, and classified as an "outsider". Another example of courage is ironically portrayed in Dolphus Raymond's character. Mr. Raymond makes himself out to be a horrible man, one who is always drinking, but in reality is merely trying to escape the society of Maycomb. Even scout herself, who has less prejudice compared to others in Maycomb, is under the influence that he is an evil man. She is proven wrong when she discovers Mr. Raymond is not drinking alcohol in his common brown sack, he is only drinking Coca-Cola (200). In public, he builds an identity revolving around being drunken slob, while in reality he is a sober man with compassion towards the black community. Mr. Raymond has the courage to lead a...

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