Essay Courage in To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

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Harper Lee's novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" explores how courage can be shown in several important characters in the novel. They are Mrs. Dubose, Atticus, Jem and Maycomb county itself. Courage exists in several forms as cleverly depicted in the novel, such as childish courage, moral courage.

The first iconic character in the novel known for her split personality and great moral courage is Mrs. Dubose. She was a morphine addict and was addicted to morphine as a painkiller prescribed by her doctor for many years. Despite her being an old, frail lady, who could have just "make(made) things easier" by just continuing to take morphine as Atticus put it, she chose the other path contrary to popular beliefs. Instead, she persevered, choosing
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Dubose to portray courage instead. This made Mrs. Dubose an interesting and outstanding character with contrasting characteristics in the eyes of the reader. Lee also indirectly trying to show that there is goodness in everyone, despite their evil natures.

Another character that portrayed different kinds of courage is Jem. However, his perceptions of courage changed throughout the course of chapters 1 - 16, as he began to mature. In the beginning of the novel, Scout mentioned that Jem had "never declined a dare" in his entire life, which exhibits his childish perceptions of courage, that courage was merely accepting to dares presented to him. In addition, he "loved his honour more than his head", which exhibits his stupidity rather than his bravery, because this shows that he accepts dares blindly and never though about his safety nor consequences of performing a dare. His new-found 'bravery' led him to commit ridiculous acts of 'courage', such as running up to the Radley's Place, touching it, and running back because he "wanted Dill to know once and for all that he wasn't scared of anyhing". This was obviously not respected and tolerated by adults in Maycomb, evident from Atticus' response to the children causing a ruckus in the Radley's Place by warning Jem to "mind your(his) own business and let the Radleys mind theirs".

However, upon entering adolescence, Jem began to show acts of moral courage. Such an example

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