Harper that simple fact of stepping in when

Harper Lee: To Kill A Mockingbird In and around 1960 things were very different than they are today, anyone who was not a white male, was not seen as equal and was treated differently.  Despite that this book represented many acts of courage performed by many different types of people. For example Atticus Finch, Boo Radley, and Mayella Ewell all showed different types of courage, whether good or bad in the end it is still courage.  To Kill A Mockingbird is a reflection on a time where innocent people were manipulated, attacked and persecuted by negative beliefs, despite this people were able to show courage that overshadowed the evil. In the novel of to Kill A Mockingbird reflected the times very well. The belief was that black people were lesser and white people were superior, as such,  it was also unheard of for a white person to defend a black person in a court of law or anywhere for that matter. Atticus Finch on the other hand was different, he had a great deal of courage, he did not see skin colour, race, gender; he saw everybody as equal.

Even though he had a black maid he showed her respect and taught his kids to do the same. Tom Robinson is a black male who was accused of the rape of Mayella Ewell, a white woman. Atticus takes on Tom’s case and displays courage by defending a black man even though him and his kids faced a lot of backlash and threats. In court Mayella got very upset and could not answer many of Atticus’ questions, because Atticus was asking her questions like how, “how did the defendant rape you.” Mayella’s answers were inconsistent with the facts, which proves Tom Robinson was innocent of the crime. Yet due to the times it was nearly impossible for a black man to be found innocent, especially when it was a case against a white person.  Atticus consistently showed he was fearless throughout the novel.Another person who showed courage is Boo Radley.

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In the novel, Boo is more spoken  about than seen, due to the rumours, Jem and Scout are not quite sure if Boo was even real. They were curious and intrigued about him, they imagined him as “six-and-a-half-feet-tall”, based on his foot prints. When Scout and Jem were being attacked by Bob Ewell (Mayella’s father) on Halloween night, Boo came to their rescue.  Courage could be seen by that simple fact of stepping in when someone is in trouble and in this case, courage was also shown by Boo when leaving his home and letting others see him. Mayella did not show good courage in the same way as the other characters, because Mayella lied throughout the novel.  In court Mayella continued to accuse Tom of rape.  She was clearly pressured and encouraged by the evil views of those around her, including her father.

 Tom and Atticus in the novel said “I felt sorry for Mayella” and “it looked like she didn’t have nobody to help her…”.  As it was clear she was most definitely lying about Tom Robinson. Regardless of the truth, Mayella did have courage by sticking to her lies that her father demanded her to say.   In the end Atticus almost got her to confess, because Mayella thought Atticus was “making fun of her” by calling her “Miss” and “Ma’am” but truthfully he was just being polite.

She was courageous and stayed consistent with her story, which was a factor that helped get Tom Robinson convicted of rape. Courage is a difficult quality to possess, especially when it is the opposite of the view of others.  Atticus described courage best when he said “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.

”  The characters represented in this essay all did just that.  Courage in the novel is to keep innocence and the message is if innocence does not exist than evil always wins.  

Author: Kathleen Bishop


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