What is Courage? Essay

What is Courage? Essay

Length: 2841 words (8.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

What is Courage?


What is courage? Is it the ability to prove yourself in war? Or the strength it takes to decide you will not fight? Is courage being yourself when you’re different from everyone else? Is it doing something that even your own father thinks you can’t do? Is courage synonymous with honor? Is it speaking up, even if doing so puts you in danger? Risking death for the person most precious to you? Or risking death for strangers? Is courage facing your fears, no matter how big or small they might be? Is it forging forward into a new life when you still miss the old one? Is courage all of these things? None of them?

The following text set is designed to help ninth grade students create and examine their own definitions of courage. In addition to asking, “What is courage?” it also lends itself to the question, “Where do our conceptions of courage come from?” Courage is the focus of this text set because it is a theme that is prevalent in American society. To be courageous is considered a positive quality, but the examples of courage most often seen in the news and in history books are often narrowly defined. Students need to think more deeply about what courage really is, and to get inside the minds of so-called “courageous” people and learn about their motivations and their fears. Students will be asked to consider a wide variety of characters and situations, all of them potentially courageous, but more in depth focus will be placed on three specific categories. The first is courage during war or revolution, beyond the stereotypical portrayal of the one-dimensional “war hero.” The second is the courage to be different from your peers or to voice your opinion even if it’s not a popular one. T...


... middle of paper ...


...are designed to help them with this difficult task. By reading and thinking about a variety of possibilities of what courage is, students can both expand and come to a better understanding of their own beliefs on the subject. Through class discussions and writing activities, they can also share these beliefs with others.

Works Cited

Brozo, William G. and Ronald V. Schmelzer. “Wildmen, warriors, and lovers: Reaching boys through archetypal literature.” Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy
41 (1997): 4-12).

Feinberg, Barbara. “Reflections on the ‘Problem Novel.’” American Educator Winter 2004-2005. 13 Apr. 2005. <http://www.aft.org/pubs-
reports/american_educator/issues/winter04-05/problemnovel.htm>.

Wolf, Shelby A. Interpreting Literature with Children. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers: 2004.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Heroism Is Defined As An Act Of Courage Essay

- Heroism is defined as an act of courage and an act of selflessness. They reflect the highest levels of morality in society. Heroes have embodied the morality codes of civilizations throughout the ages. When heroes display courage, observers often identify with that courage. The refusal to take the easy way out and the ability to act in spite of fear, is what makes a person a hero. This is the way everyone wishes to react in the midst of a crisis. As witnessed in literature and real life, mankind needs heroes to provide an inspirational role model, an escape from the mundane, and a guide for morality....   [tags: Hero, Courage, Ethics, Morality]

Powerful Essays
900 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Uncommon Courage: The Creation of a Hero

- What is a hero. Is it the characters in the comic section of the Newspaper. Or is it the typical characters in the Marvel comics. In today’s society, heroes has come to be recognized for not only their great deeds but also their notable determination, decisive, and admiration towards mankind. Often people recognize heroes as changing thousands of people’s lives however did you know there is a hero in all of us. Recently 8 year-old, Tyler Doohan died after saving 6 of his family members in a fire that occurred in New York....   [tags: sacrifice, courage, fire]

Powerful Essays
664 words (1.9 pages)

The Theme of Courage in Red Badge of Courage Essay

- The Theme of Courage in Red Badge of Courage The Red Badge of Courage is a fictional psychological portrait of a young soldier named Henry Fleming, tracing the thread of his emotions and reactions to events that transpire during an unnamed battle of the Civil War (spark notes). Henry is an average farmer from New York. Henry wants to go to war and become a hero like the one he read about in his school. The story starts off with everyone sitting in regiment camp by the river with rumors flowing around....   [tags: Red Badge Courage Essays]

Free Essays
1137 words (3.2 pages)

An Act of Courage Essay

- An Act of Courage Faced with the task of writing a paper on a specific act of courage my initial reaction was that of total uncertainty. Later that evening, as I lay in my bed watching television I pondered what topic to do for the paper. Then the sportscaster on the news began an interview with Jim Abbott a well-known major league pitcher. I thought to myself, this is perfect. Jim Abbott is a man who shows courage when the odds are against him. He is fulfilling his lifelong dream of playing professional baseball despite the fact that he was born without a right hand....   [tags: Courage Bravery Personal Narratives Essays]

Powerful Essays
3420 words (9.8 pages)

What is Courage? Essay

- What is Courage. What is courage. Is it the ability to prove yourself in war. Or the strength it takes to decide you will not fight. Is courage being yourself when you’re different from everyone else. Is it doing something that even your own father thinks you can’t do. Is courage synonymous with honor. Is it speaking up, even if doing so puts you in danger. Risking death for the person most precious to you. Or risking death for strangers. Is courage facing your fears, no matter how big or small they might be....   [tags: Definition Courage Corageous Essays]

Powerful Essays
2841 words (8.1 pages)

The Obvious is Absent in Mother Courage Essay

- The Obvious is Absent in Mother Courage   Brecht's intentions when writing Mother Courage were to communicate his beliefs and make people aware of two major issues facing society: war and capitalism. According to Brecht, people deserve the wars they get if they subscribe to a political system that is unfair and favors a specific sector of society, namely capitalism, in which it is up to the individual to secure his own means of survival. In other words, if the system is unjust in any way, war and conflict is inevitable....   [tags: Mother Courage Essays]

Powerful Essays
1696 words (4.8 pages)

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane Essay examples

- The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane The first steps in war are the steps of overcoming the line of comfort by solving the self-centered beliefs that will break you in a battlefront. Once overcoming those selfish traits and believe in yourself, that is when one flourish on the battle field....   [tags: crane red badge courage]

Powerful Essays
880 words (2.5 pages)

Henry Fleming In Red Badge Of Courage Essay

- Henry Fleming in Red Badge of Courage The Civil War forced many young boys out of childhood and into adulthood. Most of these young boys were not prepared for war, and Henry Fleming was one of these boys. Henry Fleming's life in New York was routine. He had his normal share of friends and lived on a farm. When Henry got up in the mornings, he always knew exactly what the day had in store for him. This simple and boring life drove Henry to enlist. Henry wanted some excitement and to be seen by everyone as a hero....   [tags: Red Badge Of Courage]

Powerful Essays
584 words (1.7 pages)

Red Badge of Courage Essay: Isolation

- Isolation in The Red Badge of Courage      Stephen Crane's literary technique has long been a matter of analysis and speculation. In The Red Badge of Courage Crane takes us into the life of a young man named Henry Fleming, who wants to enlist in the Army and fight in the war against the South. By using irony, similes, and symbols, Crane "paints" a vivid picture of what life was like for the fragile Henry Fleming. He opens our eyes to the vast reasons of separation for Fleming, and why he lived his life so independently....   [tags: Red Badge Courage Essays]

Powerful Essays
761 words (2.2 pages)

Courage Essay

- Courage is a necessity to overcome fears and achieve a desired goal. Fear is something that exists in all of us. There is no hero or any particular courageous figure that is without fear. Being fearless is not required to be courageous, one simply has to look past or overcome their fears to possess this great quality. When overcoming fears and going against the norm, there are always risks involved. There are different types of risks that come about. Someone could risk life or limb, while others risk their reputation....   [tags: Character Courage]

Powerful Essays
995 words (2.8 pages)