True Courage: As Ullistrated In To Kill A Mockingbird

910 words - 4 pages

What is true courage? According to Atticus Finch, true courage is “when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see through it no matter what” (Lee, 112). Each individual has their own definition of true courage. It can manifest itself in many different forms; it can be through grand, brave acts of heroism or it can be through smaller actions such as standing up for something or someone. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, courage is a very prominent theme. Scout, Jem, and Atticus Finch, amongst other characters, use many different forms of courage to overcome difficult situations.
Any person who stands up for their beliefs despite the consequences is a truly courageous person. When faced with difficult situations, Scout acts courageously by defending Atticus Finch and Walter Cunningham, and by walking Boo Radley home. The first time Scout exhibits courage is when she defends Atticus. One afternoon, her cousin, Francis, calls Atticus a “nigger-lover” (110) and sates that he is “ruinin’ the family” (114). Although Scout isn’t mature enough to understand what Francis is calling Atticus, she knows enough to understand that Francis is insulting him. Scout doesn’t like when others insult Atticus, so she fearlessly defends him. This is a courageous act because she is defending him, despite the personal ramifications her actions may bring to her. A second time Scout acts courageously is when she stands up for Walter Cunningham. At lunch, on the first day of grade one, Miss Caroline Fisher, instructs her students to either go home for lunch or take out their lunches. She sees that Walter does neither, so she questions him about it. Upon finding out that he does not have a lunch with him, nor can he go home for lunch, she offers him a quarter but Walter refused to take it. Scout, seeing how confused Miss Caroline was, courageously spoke up for Walter. She explained that “[Walter] didn’t forget his lunch, he didn’t have any. He had none today nor would he have any tomorrow or the next day” (26). She goes on to tell her that Walter is a Cunningham, meaning that he wouldn’t take the quarter because his family “never took anything they can’t pay back” (26). This demonstrates Scouts courage because she bravely spoke up for Walter, who was too embarrassed to do so himself. A third time Scout displays courage is when she walks Boo Radley home. Growing up, Boo Radley was one of the people Scout feared the most. Scout was even afraid to walk by his house; she usually passed it “at a full gallop” (37). One...

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