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To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

  • Submitted by: bhavanasistla
  • on June 24, 2014
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,251 words

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Below is an essay on "To Kill a Mockingbird" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

To Kill a Mockingbird conveys that there are many forms of courage, not just “a man with a gun in his hand.” Discuss.
Courage is not the absence of fear, rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. Courage is a virtue all great heroes need. However, real courage takes more than mere bravado or overcoming of fear; there are several meanings of the word.  Courage can come in many different forms: physical, mental, emotional and moral. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird displays the idea of courage through many forms and is illustrated through different characters. The form of mental courage is displayed through Mrs Dubose as she abstains for her morphine addiction so she could die without any attachments. Jem is used to depict the forms of physical and mental courage through him accepting ridiculous dares and later maturing to be able to stand in Atticus’ shoes. Lastly, Atticus is used to portray moral courage, as he accepted Tom Robinson’s case, despite knowing the consequences. Through the aforementioned characters, Lee conveys that there are many forms of courage, not just “a man with a gun in his hand.”
Mental courage is a higher and rarer virtue that physical courage. The first iconic character in the novel known for her split personality and great mental courage is Mrs Dubose. Despite her being an old, frail lady, who could have just "(made) things easier" by continuing to take morphine as Atticus put it, she chooses the other path contrary to popular beliefs. Instead, she persevered, choosing to "die beholden to nothing and no one", showing her sheer determination and will to live. Also, Atticus wanted Jem to read to Mrs Dubose not only as a punishment for his misdeeds, but he also wants to show Jem “what true courage really is”. He wanted to show Jem that a courageous person is not "a man with a gun in his hand", and that Mrs Dubose was an excellent...

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