Courage in "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee; this focuses on true and false courage and the natural characteristics of courageous people.

Essay by neverforgetJunior High, 9th gradeA-, February 2003

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To Kill a Mockingbird demonstrates courage by certain characters' willingness to defend and sustain their own perspective. Also, true courage involves boldness and strength to resist other opinions, disregarding the pressure of others and their morals. False courage would include hypocrisy. Throughout the novel, Atticus and Mrs. Dubose are courageous in their acts, while Aunt Alexandra and the other hypocrites like Miss Gates, possess false courage.

Atticus has his own philosophies that often contradict the tacit philosophy of his society. He believes that African-Americans are no different from other intelligent human beings. He believed that in Maycomb, whites are excessively brutal to blacks, and this should stop. He defended his beliefs and strengthened them day after day. With the courage possessed, Atticus did not take the description "nigger-lover" as a discouragement, but as a support to his value system. He fought for his beliefs, not physically, but morally. Even when the actions were not beneficial, he would act courageously.

He sat in front of the jailhouse facing a mob, only to protect the rights of a Negro, Tom Robinson. This event clearly illustrates the courageous deeds of Atticus, as he acted toward his moral stability. Another character that demonstrated courage was Mrs. Dubose. "She said she was going to leave this world beholden to nothing and nobody. (p.111)" She expressed her opinion repetitively, ignoring the opposing force. Unlike the society, she claimed that Atticus was trash, "lawing for niggers." Only a man with courage could stay calm and sturdy with the public atmosphere against him. Atticus did not take the insults as denouncing him; instead, he though them to be encouragement to his courageous demonstrations. Mrs. Dubose also fought morally for her value systems, supporting the segregation of blacks and whites. She did not have a "cowardice" attitude towards...