How Does Harper Lee Present the Theme of Courage in to Kill a Mockingbird

1044 Words Apr 24th, 2013 5 Pages
How Does Harper Lee Present The Theme Of Courage In To Kill A Mockingbird

Harper lee presents the theme of courage through several of the characters within TKAM, such as Scout, Atticus, Calpurnia, and Mrs Dubose. Within the book courage is shown in different ways such as Scout’s innocence and naivety or Atticus’ reluctance to carry out an action but still having to carry it out.
One character to show courage is Atticus who shows courage twice as he shoots Tim Johnson and stands up to the lynch mob to defend Tom Robinson. The Tim Johnson incidence occurs when a dog (Tim Johnson) has rabies and is acting like a ‘mad dog’ and ‘walking dazedly’ so Atticus, although reluctant, has to shoot him. This shows courage as we learn from Miss
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The effect of this event on the reader is that it changes the opinion of the reader as when we first meet Mrs Dubose we think of her as a vile racist old woman, but know we know of her courage we think differently of her and we learn that courage comes in all shapes and sizes like when Atticus shot Tim Johnson or when Mrs Dubose died trying to kick her addiction.
The third character to show character is Calpurnia, the Finch’s housemaid. When Calpurnia asks the question ‘How’d you and Mister Jem like to come to church with me tomorrow’ we can see Calpurnia’s courage straightaway as at the time it would not have been socially accepted for Caucasian people to attend an African American church and for an African American to attend a Caucasian church. Nevertheless, Calpurnia takes the children to church and during a confrontation between Lula, Calpurnia tries to make the children less anxious and worried by saying ‘‘Don’t you fret,’ Calpurnia whispered to me (Scout), but the roses on her hat trembled indignantly’. The fact that she

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