A Struggle for Decorum
In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee attempted to balance benevolence with malevolence, and courage with the lack of decorum, found all too often in society. Courage, innocence, and benevolence were displayed by the characters as the major themes incorporated into the intertwined plots. Characters? actions were governed by these ideas, which developed the story in the interesting fashion that has made it a masterpiece of literature. In the following paragraphs the ideas of courage, innocence, and benevolence will be further explored.
It took much courage for the characters in this novel to go against the accepted views of their contemporary society. Atticus decided to defend Tom Robinson in court and his decision to do so made him and his family unpopular with Maycomb society. When asked by Scout if he was going to win the case he responded with a definite "no honey we were licked a hundred years before we started" (76).
The outcome of the trial may have been obvious, but Atticus had the courage to question people's ethics and show them their iniquitous and judging ways. Mrs. Dubose showed courage in her own way. She was frail from her extensive morphine addiction but still fought the disease with no hope of recovery. Atticus considered this "real courage" and Mrs. Dubose "the bravest person I know" (112). Mrs. Dubose and Atticus may have been facing their own quandaries in different manners, but the process and end result were remarkably alike.
Benevolence is displayed throughout this novel by the characters and is influential in the interactions among parts of Maycomb society. Atticus defended Tom Robinson in court from his goodwill, knowing that his decision to do so would not be the popular choice. He peacefully fought prejudice itself and not the people that...