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Harper Lee’s timeless classic of human nature and evils of mankind are well highlighted throughout the plot of “To Kill a Mocking Bird.” This novel mainly centers on the characters’ lives through racial prejudice at extreme measures. Courage is presented several times throughout the book and is the dominant defense towards vile people and dead-ended circumstances.
Justice and equality are two important traits lacking in the town of Maycomb. Tom Robinson, an innocent black man, is under wrongful accusation of raping a young girl, Mayella Ewell. Due to a lack of morality and fairness, black people are naturally sentenced guilty and must suffer with the consequences appointed by the judge. No ordinary lawyer wastes their time on a color coded case, since chances of the black side winning are nearly inexistent. Atticus Finch steps forward and agrees to defend a black man, since he knows Tom’s innocent. This courageous leap costs Mr. Finch his towns respect and changes the outlook on his family. Knowing that he will lose the case, Atticus bravely protects Tom Robinson to all extents and tries to achieve justice. Although his attempts to set racial equality fail, he doesn’t lose confidence in his clients’ survival chances. Mr. Finch’s risk almost cost his children their lives and cause many people to scorn at him. Tom Robinson knew how dangerous it was getting involved with Mayella would be, but he also understood that she needed a friend in this world. His brave attempts to help her with life cost him his life. Atticus Finch knows his morals, holds to his goals and stands up for what he believes in.
As word about such an imposturous task of defending a black man gets out, the town of Maycomb is enraged. A mob of the community’s residents plot to visit the jail to pay a ‘visit’ to Tom Robinson’s cell. The town men arrive late at night, only to find Atticus quietly reading in front of the jail door. Facing 20 armed men in the middle of the night puts Atticus in a tight situation. The men start arguing as Mr. Finch’s safety becomes questionable. His daring personality doesn’t allow him to change his mind and go home. Atticus still has faith in the people of Maycomb. He still believes that good lies deep within their minds.
Just as the men begin to heat up and get impatient, Scout runs out of her hiding place, from which she had been secretly spying on her dad.
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In conclusion, Harper Lee portrayed courage in each character in many diverse ways to show the difference in attitudes, personalities, faith, bravery and individuality from character to character. This lead to a creative display on how each personality contributed to the plot and twisted the ending. Courage provided characters with the power to speak their mind, act upon their instincts and express their opinions towards different events and matters. Courage created the highest points of action in the book, and added heroic flavor into certain events. Harper Lee uses courage to bring justice, racial equality and morality into the novel; after all, it’s a sin to kill a Mocking bird.