Courage in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

"Courage isn't an absence of fear. It's doing what you are afraid to do. It's having the power to let go of the familiar and forge ahead into new territory." ~John Maxwell. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout (Jean Louise Finch), Jem (Jeremy Atticus Finch), and Atticus Finch display acts of valor that contribute, and in some cases encourage their rectitude. Harper Lee demonstrates that acting courageously can lead to an improved, sustained, or newly developed personal integrity.
Jean Louise Finch responds to her own acts of courage by finding her righteous moral ground. The young Finch girl stepped between a potentially violent conflict, between Atticus and a group of male residents of Maycomb. Scout approached the conflict frightened, and still decided to intervene, mistaking her courage for foolishness. Jean Louise later comes to believe acting courageously is not acting without fear, but rather facing it knowing the possible consequences. Jean resolved the conflict through renewing their sense of integrity. By reminding the resident (Mr. Cunningham) of his own son, the kindness Atticus and his family showed him despite the way he was usually acknowledged, and the devotion Atticus had to helping him, Scout helped Mr. Cunningham and his accomplices see the irrationality in their behavior. Her own words helped her to sort out her own beliefs; of equality, and fairness by reminding him (or rather them) of the morally sound way her, and her family act. Jean Louise acted with courage, and that helped in the building of her integrity.
Jem constructs his morality on the foundation of courage. In the start of the book, Jeremy Atticus Finch views courage as acts of gambling. For example; Scout, Jem, and Dill see touching the side of a hou...

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...cists; Atticus Finch stands strong to his beliefs, refusing to allow harm to who he believes is innocent despite his small crowd of supporters and huge crowd of those opposing. Atticus continues to stand his ground and act with courage even when his own children are threatened (and hurt) by the plaintiff’s father. The hope and gratitude expressed by those helped by Atticus’s strong morale is enough to sustain his integrity. Courageous acts helped to ground Atticus’s personal integrity.
Scout and Jem developed rich personal integrity through acting courageously and witnessing such acts. Atticus’s integrity was nurtured through his continued acts of courage. Harper Lee uses these characters to display the idea that courage can help create, foster, and shape personal integrity. “I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions.” ~Lillian Hellman.
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