The Courage to Free a Mockingbird

Decent Essays
The Courage to Free a Mockingbird There are no songs being sung by the mockingbird the day Atticus Finch shoots and kills the mad dog as his neighbors hide inside their homes in fear. It is by the same token that the silence teaches Atticus’s children their first lesson of courage in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. In the eyes of Atticus courage is found in a man’s moral values and not something proven with the use of a gun for he finds no reason to brag of his actions. He shows that it is necessary to use a weapon to have moral courage but that the true weapon is in ones conscience effort to defend ones beliefs. The lesson Atticus teaches that day to his children is courage is not something one has or doesn’t have; it…show more content…
He explains that to Scout when she asks why he took the case: “The main one is if I didn’t I couldn’t hold up my head in town, I couldn’t represent this county in the legislature, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do something again.” (p. 75). Atticus knows that the people in town will speak ill of him and call him a “nigger-lover” and tells Scout she may hear that at school and asks that: “No matter what anybody says to you, don’t let them get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change…it’s a good one, even if it does resist learning.” (p. 76). Atticus is modeling to her that if he can hold his head high so can she. That courage does not have to be a grand gesture like fighting with your fist but is having the confidence to make a change and fight with your mind. Moral courage is holding your head up high knowing you are invincible and ready to take on whatever the world throws at you no matter if you win or lose. As a result Atticus finds an ally in Heck Tate when he lies and says Bob Ewell had fallen on the knife and died. For keeping the secret that Boo is Bob Ewell killer is Atticus’s way of saving a mockingbird. Why Atticus has to go along with it for the sake of his children and Boo Radley: “Scout,” he said “Mr. Ewell fell on his knife. Can you possible understand?” (p.276). Scout now fully understands that Boo is heroic for putting his life on the line. That it is her fear of the unknown that ever made him appear to be a monster
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