October 7th, 2008
Courage – A Significant Theme in the Novel ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’
In the novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ written by Harper Lee, courage can be seen as one of the strongest themes depicted in the novel through the morals given by characters like Atticus, and the brave events that are show by him throughout the novel. Courage can be considered a highly developed characteristic seen in many heroic individuals throughout history. It is a quality that is used in the darkest time, as well as an emotion that is hard to find but gives great reward in the end. The theme of courage can be seen through many classic works, and is still used in many modern plots today. “Courage” is about stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something to help others even if you believe people will dislike you. This is revealed to us by the characters original belief in courage being physical; the idea of Ms Dubose and Boo Radley’s bravery is similar to Atticus’s strong moral courage. These three characters fit into this definition of what courage is and demonstrates it several times throughout the novel.
The morals that are shown throughout the novel give meaning to the overall theme of courage. Atticus shows this in the long period of time during Tom Robinson’s case. It first started when Atticus took the case. He went against Maycomb, a generally discriminatory town, in order to defend Tom. He understood that taking the case would make him an object of mockery and that no one would forgive him for believing in a black man’s word rather than a white man’s. Even his own sister expresses disapproval of his decision, practically telling him he was bringing disgrace on the family. But, no matter how much his reputation suffered, he did not change his mind. Standing up for his morals and ethics was more important then what people thought about him. He’s teaching the moral of courage to his kids. He knows that no one will.