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Acts of Courage in To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

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In the short story To Kill A Mockingbird, author Harper Lee suggests that in certain situations people have the potential to show acts of courage

In our society it is generally believed that in order for someone to show courage, they must show it through physical acts of peril. The only type of courage that is ever heard of or praised is when someone nearly puts their life at risk to show their bravery. In the short story To Kill A Mockingbird, author Harper Lee suggests that in certain situations people have the potential to show acts of courage, great or small. Lee proposes this through characterization, plot and outcome. Throughout the novel there are many characters who show that they have courage. Atticus Finch teaches
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She meant to break herself of it before she died, and that’s what she did”(111). Although Mrs.
Dubose was a cantankerous old lady who disapproved of Atticus defending Tom, she and Mr. Finch had something in common. They both shared similar views when it came to showing courage to overcome a task. Atticus’ lesson applies here as well. “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.
(112). Because of Mrs. Dubose’ achievement , Atticus considered her
“the bravest person [he] ever knew”(112). The lesson that Atticus had taught Scout about courage through his court case, was now being taught to Jem through Mrs. Dubose. Despite these characters’ contributions of courage, the plot also had a major influence on the theme. The major plot line of the novel revolves around Atticus and his handling of the Tom Robinson case. The reason this plot is so interesting is because of the varying amounts of courage that Atticus must show in his quest to defend Tom. Taking the case was in itself courageous, but Atticus made sure that he successfully completed what it was he was assigned
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