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Michael DysonMr. JarrettENG 1D15 January 2018To Kill A Mockingbird – CourageCourage is a phenomenon present in various forms of literature that allows one to stand up for oneself or for others. “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a breathtaking novel from the mind of Harper Lee that explores courage from the mind and perspective of a young child, Scout. The story is inserted in Maycomb, a town very set in its ways and resistant to change. Despite the stubbornness of Maycomb and its resistance to change, the inhabitants of the town worked together using powerful courage that worked to inspire a transformation in the twisted society.  It is how Atticus constantly thought of others prior to considering himself, that Mrs. Dubose remained true to herself and craved to make change in the closing moments of her life, in addition to how Arthur (Boo) Radley demonstrated his caring nature that demonstrates the astounding courage one can unearth when examining the town of Maycomb in To Kill a Mockingbird.Not long after the beginning of the novel, Atticus demonstrated outstanding courage as he stood up for his beliefs. Atticus, in To Kill a Mockingbird, undertook the racially-charged case that featured the defensive plight of Tom Robinson, with the understanding that it would bring trouble to himself and his family. Articles can be quoted as stating that every lawyer faces a case that “effects him personally” (Lee 100).  Atticus, in this case, is standing up not singularly for Tom Robinson, but in opposition to the prejudices of Maycomb itself. “Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win” (Lee 101). Atticus, in the aforementioned conversation, hoped to teach Scout that it is a person’s responsibility to stand up for their opinions and rights; he craved to instill courage. Furthermore, Atticus accepted the trial at a large risk of personal harm. Ultimately, Atticus’ courage inspired social change and conversation on the ethicacy of bigotry. Moreover, it prompted the jury to consider, for an extended period, the potential of Tom’s innocence. Before that time, a case concerning a white man’s word against a black man’s would have been settled much sooner. It is stated that this length of study of a case of this sort had never happened before. It is this courage on the part of Atticus that provides the essence of his character. Additionally, Mrs. Dubose demonstrated true courage towards the closing days of her life. Mrs. Dubose was a strong woman who willingly overcame her demons before she died. Mrs. Dubose had faced a paralyzing illness for much of her life and had been prescribed morphine, to which she became addicted. “She took it as a pain-killer for years. The doctor put her on it. She had spent the rest of her life on it and died without so much agony, but she was too contrary-” (Lee 147).   Jem and Scout view Mrs. Dubose as the meanest woman in Maycomb, yet she had simply faced multiple things in her life that left her cynical. Atticus had, himself, described her to be the bravest woman he had ever met. ” I wanted you to see what true courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand” (Lee 149). Atticus’ words capture the essence of Mrs. Dubose’s courage. She demonstrated that courage must not always come in the form of “masculinity,” but it can also exist in a form of being one’s self.  Mrs. Dubose had the true quiet and individual courage to die free ” as the mountain air” (Lee 148); she was dependent on nobody but herself.Of similar or greater importance were the extreme examples of bravery exhibited by Arthur (Boo) Radley at the conclusion of the novel. Arthur Radley saved the children, Jem and Scout, from the clutches of Bob Ewell. Ewell had attacked Jem and Scout while they walked home from Scout’s play. There was evident intent on the part of Bob to murder the unsuspecting children in retaliation for the results of the case. Before serious harm, further than a broken arm, was sustained, Arthur ran from his home and he pulled Mr. Ewell from the children, saving them. ” and there came a crunching sound and Jem screamed” (Lee 351).  Ewell, through the gut-wrenching crunching sound, broke Jem’s arm. The only reason that the attack ceased was as a result of one man’s actions – Boo Radley. Leaving the safety of his home in the presence of other people is an action Arthur rarely does. During the commencement of the novel, Boo is described as quite terrifying. Nonetheless, in this chapter, it is explained that one must not judge people based on prior expectations. Saving these children required a great deal of personal courage. The aforementioned courage taught the children to not judge based on assumptions of character and to remember to look at look at situations from another’s perspective.Courage is a phenomenon present in many forms of literature, yet it remained quite prominent in this novel. Many believe that an image of vast courage is a man holding a rifle, defending his own beliefs, and the beliefs or rights of others. To Kill a Mockingbird, however, demonstrated that courage does not always exist in this impressively prominent way; a courageous act is not always as masculine as a gun, it appears more delicately in avenues such as bettering oneself despite others opinions or kicking a drug habit. Every character featured in this piece demonstrates courage in their own way. Each of these inspired courageous acts was met with the stubbornness of Maycomb, a town very resistant to change. Nonetheless, these courageous acts inspired innovation that led to a more modern and accepting society, accustomed to change.     

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