As humans, everysingle individual has confronted fear at least once in their lifetime, however,people often misconceive courage as fearlessness rather than having thestrength to overcome trepidation. Contrary to popular beliefs, courage is theability to persevere in the face of adversity and triumphing despite being afraid.Jean Louise “Scout” Finch is a 6 years old girl living in the 1930’sAlabama. While learning to cope with prejudice and injustice of the small townMaycomb, she was enlightened by many examples of courage displayed in variousforms through the lives of Maycomb citizens and revolutionized her presumptionsof “real” courage.
In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the theme of courageis explored and it becomes clear that courage is not the absence of fear butrather the will to persevere in spite of it.? Thefirst character in this novel that represents courage is Atticus. Harper Leedepicts the concept of moral courage through Atticus Finch, the principledlawyer who stood up against the prejudiced society to defend a black man.Atticus takes on the Tom Robinson case based on his principles of right andwrong regardless of knowing that the battle is lost before it begins. Heelaborates to Scout that “simply because we were licked a hundred yearsbefore we started is no reason for us not try to win.”(87) Moreover, whenAtticus was discussing the case with his brother Jack, he reveals “itcouldn’t be worse.
.. the jury couldn’t possibly be expected to take TomRobinson’s word against the Ewells… I’d hoped to get through life without acase of this kind, but John Taylor pointed at me and said, ‘you’reit.'”(100) Atticus acknowledges the racism and discrimination that isprevalent throughout Maycomb and admits his initial apprehension with the case.He recognizes the inconceivability of winning but he’s still willing tovaliantly defend Tom because he believes it is the right thing to do.
Atticusconquers his fear of failure and did not capitulate in the face of adversitydespite comprehending that the consequences will have a profound personaleffect upon himself and his family. Atticus summoned a tremendous amount ofcourage to pursue his beliefs, he did not surrender to conformity and knowingthat he will ostracize himself and his family from their own community in theprocess. He viewed courage on moreof an intellectual level, as a moral thing, not as something that can be provedwith a weapon. For a younger child though, like Scout, courage is most oftenassociated with some type of physical activity, which involves danger. It isdifficult for younger children to grasp the concept that greater courage ismost often required in other aspects of life. Courage is only needed when one fears somethingAtticus’s ownactions in arguing the Robinson case demonstrate this kind of courage, and hisbehavior throughout embodies values of dignity, integrity, determination, andtolerance.
By his actions, Atticusproves to be one of the most courageous of all; he went against society’s mostrigid protocol and sought to find the good in every evil. The second character that demonstrates courage is Mrs. Dubose. The themeof moral courage is also manifested through Mrs. Dubose, the cantankerous oldwomen who fought against her morphine addiction before she passed away. Afterher death, Atticus declared to his children that she was the epitome of realcourage, he elucidates, “Mrs. Dubose’d have spent the rest of her lifeon morphine and died without so much agony.
.. but it wasn’t all right forher.
.. she said she was going to leave this world beholden to nothing andnobody.
.. and that’s what she did.”(127) Furthermore, Mrs. Dobose’sembodiments of strength and determination prompted Atticus to promulgate “I wanted the children to see what real courage is, instead of getting theidea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It when you know you’relicked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matterwhat. Mrs.
according to her views, she died beholden to nothingand nobody. She was the bravest person I ever know.”(128) Mrs. Dubose’s capacityto endure suffering from morphine withdrawal in order to have moments ofclarity substantiates her courage not just in the face of her addiction butalso the end of her life.
Her fear of the pain and torture motivates her toachieve her goal and fight against the odds. For younger children, like Scout,courage is frequently associated with some type of physical or externalactivity, which involves danger. Mrs. Dubose inculcated the children thatcourage is not solely defined by physical traits, but also the strength ofmind.
The third character that exhibits courage is Jem Finch when he showedphysical and mental courage by protecting Atticus from the Old Sarum Bunch anddefying his father’s order to return home. He was suspicious of Atticus leavingthe house late at night and “wanted to see where Atticus was.”(172)After sensing the imminent danger, Jem stands his ground and refuses to abandonhim, Scout observed “In the midst of this strange assembly, Atticus stoodtrying to make Jem mind him. ‘I ain’t going,’ was Jem’s steady answer toAtticus’ threats, requests, and finally, ‘Please Jem, take themhome.'”(174) Jem grows up with theinfluence of Atticus and possesses a strong moral compass, him standing up forhis beliefs resembling Atticus’ integrity and determination. He deliberatelysubjects himself in an extremely precarious situation and showed theexceptional heroism that’s unfathomable from a young child.
Jem risks physical danger and Atticus’sdisappointment to protect his family. Heexhibits both physical and moral courage, and the incident ultimately bringsJem and his father closer. With the precedent he witnessed from his father andMrs. Dubose, he is able to transcend courage from fear and implement itthorough significant circumstances. he defies parental authority notbecause he wants to be disobedient, but because he feels it’s the right thingfor him to dIn summation, true courage is empowered by defeating fear as opposed to beingdauntless to fear.
Through experiences with the people around her, Scout learnsabout the true meaning of courage and begins to establish her own conception ofjustice and morality. She had an epiphany and realizes that courage is morethan something that can be proved with a weapon. Overall, although most humansdespises fear and perceive it as a sign of weakness,