Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

As be worse… the jury couldn’t possibly be expected

As humans, every single individual has confronted fear at least once in their lifetime, however, people often misconceive courage as fearlessness rather than having the strength to overcome trepidation. Contrary to popular beliefs, courage is the ability to persevere in the face of adversity and triumphing despite being afraid. Jean Louise “Scout” Finch is a 6 years old girl living in the 1930’s Alabama. While learning to cope with prejudice and injustice of the small town Maycomb, she was enlightened by many examples of courage displayed in various forms through the lives Maycomb citizens and revolutionized her views of “real” courage. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the theme of courage is explored and it becomes clear that courage is not the absence of fear but rather the will to persevere in spite of it.    The first character in this novel that represents courage is Atticus. Harper Lee depicts the concept of moral courage through Atticus Finch, the principled lawyer who stood up against the prejudiced society of Maycomb to defend a black man. Atticus takes on the Tom Robinson case based on his principles of right and wrong despite knowing that the battle is lost before it begins. He elaborates to Scout that “simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not try to win.”(87) Moreover, when Atticus was discussing the case with his brother Jack, he reveals “it couldn’t be worse… the jury couldn’t possibly be expected to take Tom Robinson’s word against the Ewells… he’d hoped to get through life without a case of this kind, but John Taylor pointed at him and said, ‘he’s it.'”(100) Atticus acknowledges the racism and discrimination that is prevalent throughout Maycomb and admits his initial apprehension with defending a black man. He recognizes the inconceivability of winning the case but he’s still willing to valiantly defend Tom because he believes it is the right thing to do. Atticus conquers his fear and did not capitulate in the face of adversity despite comprehending the consequences will have a profound personal effect upon himself and his family. Atticus summoned a tremendous amount of courage to pursue his beliefs, he did not surrender to conformity and knowing that he will ostracize himself and his family from their own community in the process.       He viewed courage on more of an intellectual level, as a moral thing, not as something that can be proved with a weapon. For a younger child though, like Scout, courage is most often associated with some type of physical activity, which involves danger. It is difficult for younger children to grasp the concept that greater courage is most often required in other aspects of life.  Courage is only needed when one fears somethingAtticus’s own actions in arguing the Robinson case demonstrate this kind of courage, and his behavior throughout embodies values of dignity, integrity, determination, and tolerance.   By his actions, Atticus proves to be one of the most courageous of all; he went against society’s most rigid protocol and sought to find the good in every evil. The second character that demonstrates courage is Mrs. Dubose. The theme of moral courage is also manifested through Mrs. Dubose, the cantankerous old women who fought against her morphine addiction before she passed away. After her death, Atticus declared to his children that she was the epitome of real courage, he elucidates, “Mrs. Dubose’d have spent the rest of her life on it and died without so much agony… but it wasn’t all right for her… she said she was going to leave this world beholden to nothing and nobody… and that’s what she did.”(127) Furthermore, Mrs. Dobose’s embodiments of strength and determination prompted Atticus to promulgate ” he wanted the children to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. Mrs. Dubose won… according to her views, she died beholden to nothing and nobody. She was the bravest person I ever know.”(128) Mrs. Dubose’s capacity to endure suffering from morphine withdrawal in order to have moments of clarity substantiates her courage not just in the face of her addiction but also the end of her life. Her fear of the pain and torture motivates her to achieve her goal of breaking free from her addiction. For younger children, like Scout, courage is most often associated with some type of physical or external activity, which involves danger.Mrs. Dubose teaches the children that courage is not solely defined by physical traits, but also the strength of mind.The third character that exhibits courage is Jem Finch when he showed mental courage by wanting to protect Atticus from the Old Sarum Bunch and defying his father’s order to return home. He was suspicious of Atticus leaving the house late at night and “wanted to see where Atticus was.”(172) After sensing imminent danger upon Atticus, Jem stands his ground and refuses to abandon him, Scout observed “In the midst of this strange assembly, Atticus stood trying to make Jem mind him. ‘I ain’t going,’ was Jem’s steady answer to Atticus’ threats, requests, and finally, ‘Please Jem, take them home.'”(174)  Jem grows up with the influence of Atticus and possesses a strong moral compass, he voluntarily puts himself in an extremely precarious situation and showed the exceptional heroism that’s unfathomable from a young child.                  In summation, courage courage is not the absence of fear but rather the will to persevere in spite of it.

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