In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird


In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, courage stands out a lot throughout the whole story, and as readers got to know the characters and the rest of the town. Although it might’ve hard to tell, Mrs. Dubose, Boo Radley, and Scout are the three characters in particular that don’t care about others opinions and carry on to do courageous acts. They are one of the many who shows extreme acts of courage, and allowed us to see how courage has progressed through the story.
The first character to show courage is Mrs. Dubose, an elderly woman who has had trouble with the children because she felt indifferent to them and their lifestyles. However, she still found it in herself to end her morphine addiction. Atticus explains how she is a model of real courage other than “…a man with a gun in his hand.” She knows the outcome will remain the same (Lee 149). Despite all of the terrible things she has said to the children, especially when she said bad things to Jem about Atticus, she was standing up for herself during a hard time in her own way. As Atticus states, “…the bravest person he ever knew.” (Lee 149) This was a courageous act since she was close to her death, she defeated her addiction to make sure that she ended on a good note, this is where her courage stood out the most.

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Although Mrs. Dubose may have had a rough history, she has found it in herself to be better and quit her morphine addiction before her death because of the fact that she wants to make sure she ends on a good note instead of dying knowing that she was still addicted.
The second character that portrays the most courage is Boo Radley, a man who never leaves his own home. Causing him to be a suspicious individual to the rest of the world. According to Scout, he’s a “…malevolent phantom” (Lee 10) Although Jem has never seen Boo in person. Scout states; “People said he existed, but Jem and I had never seen him.” People in Maycomb made up images and stories in their heads about him, making him up to be a monster. (Lee 10) Atticus explains to Scout and Jem that the reason why he lives like this is he has “had trouble with the law, and fell into the wrong crowd.” Which made him give off the wrong impression to most people (Lee 12 ). Throughout the whole story, he shows countless acts of courage and has a huge impact on Scout and Jem even though he couldn’t escape his house. Firstly, one of the many acts of courage he wanted to give gifts to the children by leaving them in the tree in which they climbed. Boo leaves Jem thinking that the reason why he’s doing all of this is simply because he is lonely and Scout heard Boo crying. Secondly since Scout and Jem are so special to him, he saved them from Bob Ewell. There were tons of rumours going around about Boo Radley, which isn’t a surprise considering the town is full of racists and all people do is gossip. Despite the fact that people see him as a monster, he looks past that and decides to be nice to them. Considering the fact that he is so shy, he didn’t want to \
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take recognition for the fact that he saved Scout and Jem, making him feel vulnerable and uncomfortable with the whole situation because he doesn’t really like confrontation. To summarize, he is a very nice and genuine person, and will do anything for Scout and Jem including putting his life before theirs.
The last character that shows courage throughout the whole story is Scout. Since she’s a child, you might think that she couldn’t of shown courage throughout the story. Although she’s a child, she seemed to be the only one capable of shutting down the “mob” that was outside the county jail. “So it took an eight-year-old child to bring ’em to their senses, didn’t it? That proves something that a gang of wild animals can be stopped simply because they’re still human.” (Lee 210) Since she’s a tomboy, Aunt Alexandra has a hard time coping with how she likes to dress. To her, she feels that Scout needs a feminine influence. Since Scout is known to have a short temper, leading her to settle arguments in a physical way, for example; her argument between her and a classmate. “Catching Walter Cunningham in the schoolyard gave me some pleasure, but when I was rubbing his nose in the dirt Jem came by and told me to stop”(Lee 30). Despite everything Aunt Alexandra had done to try and change her, Scout is strong and has no problem with telling somebody they’re wrong, making her courageous in her own way. Another example of how she shows courageousness is On the first day of school, Scout shows courage by being a leader to the class. As Mrs. Caroline states, “Your father does not know how to teach. You can have a seat now.”