To Kill A Mockingbird Courage Analysis

1533 Words7 Pages
TKM Essay “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but just as much to stand up to your friends,” remarks J.K. Rowling in her book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Jem Finch, a boy from a small town in the South struggles to fully understand this idea. To Kill a Mockingbird suggests that real courage is standing up for others regardless of the what it may cost you. As a young boy, Jem’s understanding of courage and bravery are wrapped up in how others might view you, rather than who you really are inside. A little later he sees courage as having a clean record with others. Then Jem learns that courage is not giving up on someone or something even if you know you’re probably not going to win. Finally, Jem uses…show more content…
Jem struggles to understand real courage to know how to demonstrate real courage. When Dill, a neighborhood kid, is playing with Jem, Dill dares Jem to do something dangerous. He dares him to touch the Radley house. Jem struggles with this decision but in the end, he breaks and follows through with the dare. Scout says, “In all his life Jem had never declined a dare” (16). In other words, if Jem is dared to do something he was known to do it. These childish dares formed Jem’s idea of courage. Jem thinks that real courage is accepting a dare and having an image of being brave and courageous in the sight of others. This is not real courage. Real courage is the ability to know what is right and what is wrong and to act on what you know to be true. Real courage is when you treat others as if they are your neighbor even if they are your enemy. Real courage is the ability to stand up for something you love even in the face of danger. Real courage is…show more content…
Jem is confronted with a situation just like this. When Jem, Dill, and Scout try sending a note to Boo Radley, Arthur Radley sees them and mistakes them for an African American and tries to shoot them. In the process of Jem, Dill, and Scout running away, Jem loses his pants when they get caught on the fence in the Radley’s yard. When Atticus asks Jem where his pants are, Dill covers him by lying to Atticus, saying that he won the pants from Jem playing strip poker with matches. While Jem is in bed he decides that he is going to take a perilous journey and try to retrieve his pants. He tells Scout why when she asks and he tells her, “I--It’s like this, Scout” he muttered. “Atticus ain’t ever whipped me since I can remember. I wanta keep it that way,” (75). In other words, he hasn’t been severely punished by Atticus for a very long time and he doesn’t want to be punished now. Jem’s apparent courage is actually just cowardly self-protection. Jem thinks that courage is the image that people have of you. He thinks that your reputation is really what you need to work on to steer clear of any bad marks. But it is actually the ability to own up to your mistakes and take ownership for the wrong that you have done. Atticus would like for Jem to see that courage is not about making no mistakes. It is not about preserving a perfect image of yourself. Courage is the

More about To Kill A Mockingbird Courage Analysis

Open Document