To Kill A Mockingbird
In the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, a character Atticus states; “Courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” Throughout history, there have been many courageous people who have strongly demonstrated the quality of courage. Courage is a reoccurring theme that Harper Lee chooses to emphasize throughout To Kill A Mockingbird that many of her characters pursue as a strong quality. However, courage is proven to be most evident through Atticus, Scout, and Calpurina.
Atticus is truly a man of courage. Throughout, To Kill A Mockingbird he has to face many situations where a courageous decision is needed in order to help someone very important. Although there are many characters that are against Atticus’ decisions, he still tries to see them through knowing that the odds of succeeding are weak. Atticus definitely defines courage when he makes the decision to represent a Negro named Tom Robinson, in court. Unfortunately, many people in the town of Maycomb are prejudice and look down upon Atticus for choosing to do so. However, Atticus knowing how strongly people feel about his decision for defending a black man feels that it is something he must do. A quote from the novel symbolizing his courage is found where Jem and Scout are asking Atticus why he is defending Tom Robinson: “Every lawyer gets at least one case in his lifetime that affects him personally. This one’s mine I guess.” This quote represents his courage because it shows that he has a responsibility and is going to do the best job he can even when he understands that the odds are against him. Atticus also displays courage when he tells Scout that you shouldn’t judge someone until you have been in his or her shoes. A quote showing this is found where Scout explains to Atticus about her day’s misfortunes at school and how Miss Caroline tells her that she was taught the wrong way by her father: “First of all, Scout if you can learn a simple trick, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.” This quote further explains his courageous qualities because it shows that he doesn’t believe in judging others until you have been in their skin, or until you know a person. It takes courage to understand the concept of getting to know another person’s point of view before judging them. Atticus shows this through his courageous decision to defend Tom Robinson. The towns’ people judge Tom Robinson, however Atticus sees through them and chooses to see his side, which truly displays his courage.
Scout, displays her courage throughout the story as well. She is a mature seven-year-old girl, and shows her courage in many situations where she stands up for what she believes in even though many disagree with her. Scout demonstrates her courageous quality when she punches Francis because he calls Atticus a “nigger lover.” A quote resembling this scene, is found where her and Francis are having an argument over Atticus: “Francis looked at me carefully, concluded I had been sufficiently subdued, and crooned softly, “nigger lover.” “Thus time I split my knuckle to the bone of his front teeth.” This quote further symbolizes Scout’s courage because it shows how much she really cares for her father. Although violence is not the key to resolving anything, it was very courageous of Scout to punch Francis because she really stood up for her father. Scout was very hurt from Francis’ words and her punching him displayed how much she truly loves Atticus and how she wouldn’t want his feelings to be hurt in any way. Scout also displays courage when she makes her way through the crowd of men, dressed in overalls, who are about to hurt Atticus. She tries to stall them from hurting him by talking with Mr. Cunningham. A quote that represents her courage demonstrated in this scene is found when Scout is trying to look amongst the crowd for a familiar face: “They were sullen looking, sleepy-eyed looking men who seemed unused