preview

Courage in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Satisfactory Essays
To Kill a Mockingbird - Courage

"Courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what" According to Atticus Finch, an honest lawyer in Harper Lee's novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. "Real courage" is when you fight for what is right regardless of whether you win or lose. Atticus fits into this definition of what "real courage" is and demonstrates it several times throughout the novel.

"The only thing we've got is a black man's word against the Ewells'. The evidence boils down to you-did-I-didn't. The jury couldn't possibly be expected to take Tom Robinson's word against the Ewells,'" Atticus solemnly explains this to his brother. First of all, Atticus demonstrates courage when he undertakes the task of defending Tom Robinson, a black man wrongly accused of rape. Atticus knows he won't win the case and like Mrs. Dubose in her battle against morphine, he is "licked" before he begins. Nevertheless, Atticus knows that Tom is innocent and that he must fight for him, since no one else will. Atticus's strong sense of morality and justice motivates him to defend Tom with vigor and determination, giving it all he's got with one mission in mind. He wants the people of Maycomb town, whether they believe it or not, to hear the truth about Tom, "That boy might go to the chair, but he's not going till the truth's told"

Furthermore, Atticus showed true bravery when he went against Maycomb, a generally prejudice town, in order to defend Tom. He understood that taking the case would make him an object of scorn and ridicule. 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 convictions was more important then what people thought about him..

Moreover, Atticus manifested courage when he went to the jailhouse to protect Tom from a lynch mob.
Get Access