Monday, October 28, 2019

Courage in To Kill a Mockingbird Essay Example for Free

Courage in To Kill a Mockingbird Essay The book, To Kill a Mockingbird, is told from the point of view of a girl named Scout Finch. The story is set in a predominantly white neighborhood. Scouts father is a lawyer, and the story begins when he is tasked to defend an African-American wrongly accused of raping a white woman (Lee 2002). The involvement of Atticus Finch in this case brings upon them verbal and physical abuse, such that Scout almost fought off her aggressors in school with her fists (Lee 2002). Her father, Atticus, tells her not to be provoked, to keep out of trouble, as they should not mind what other people are saying (Lee 2002).   This shows what Plutarch is saying regarding courage: â€Å"Courage consists not in hazarding fear, but being resolutely minded in a just cause.† For sure, Atticus is fearful for his strong-willed daughter and son; however, he is resolute on defending Tom Robinson. Atticus courage is not about skirting fear, but seeing only the justification for taking on Tom Robinsons case. Like a horse with blinders, Atticus is focused on the case. This is why he does not want Scout or Scouts brother Jem, to fight other people when they taunt the children regarding the case: other people do not matter. As long as Atticus knows that what he is doing is right, opinions of other people should not bother him. This is what he is trying to instill upon his children. He is also trying to teach them that courage does not only come from ones fist or the barrel of the gun; courage is being deciding to follow through with a decision whatever it takes, regarding the insurmountable challenges. This for me is one of the aspects of courage. It is important to be resolute on a decision. As people say, obstacles occur when our mind is taken off the goal. It also takes courage to keep ones eyes on the goal, to ignore the obstacles in our peripheral vision. No matter how insurmountable the challenge is, we still have to go for it, especially if we believe it to be right. Our world is shaped by people faced with impossibilities, yet they did not give up. These people caused the French Revolution, invented light bulbs, fought for womens suffrage. We all live in a better world today because of them, and they did it because they had courage.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Courage I feel, is also found in everyday decisions. Obviously, it takes courage to sign the document that would start the Manhattan project, but courage is also involved when one befriends a stranger too. Scout does this in the book, befriending and trying to see what the world is like for Boo Radley (Lee 2002). Other people shun him, and make up horrible stories instead, but Scout has the courage of a child not yet corrupted by the world. In the end, she realizes that he is a good person. This is a courageous act, admitting your mistake, and accepting someone ostracized by society. Scout may not be aware of the implications of her action, but she flouted her neighborhoods notion of propriety (just like her dad), and reinstating the fact that humans are above the standards we set for ourselves. This is courage too. And I believe that this is the hardest of all to do. To fight injustices in your everyday life is not only exhausting but harrowing, yet this is one area you will be able to do your most. Everyday decisions require staunchness of decision; these decisions are not â€Å"one-time big-time† deals. You will live with the effects of these decisions for every single day of the rest of your life, and the effects will be magnified.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Courage also must precede all other qualities. If one does not have the courage to do what is right, even if one has a sense of what is right and wrong, this knowledge will not be put to use, because fear will convolute ones sense of right and wrong. Winston Churchill once said, â€Å"Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.† In the book, Atticus was courageous enough to follow through with his conviction that Tom Robinson is innocent (Lee 2002). He knows he will inevitably lose the case, as the jury is all-white (Lee 2002). Yet, he forges on. If he did not push through with his decision, or if he wavers, we would not have seen his other attributes: a responsible and loving father, an understanding neighbor, an upright man. If he had let himself be dwarfed by fear, we would not have seen the other qualities, as these have all been dwarfed by fear.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   There is another aspect to courage I must point out: courage is not being able to not know fear while undertaking a difficult task. Courage knows this fear, even before one accepts the task, and yet goes on with it anyway. Courage, for me, knows fear, of being fully aware of the implications of your decision, and you continue because you will not forgive yourself if you did not do the right thing or if you continue so that those who come after you will not be placed in the same situation. This for me is the essence of courage: of making a decision, and acting upon it, so that other people will not have to make the same decision because you have made the world a better place to live in. Courage prefers to go out like a blaze in the night. It is, to quote Dylan Thomas, to go not gently into the night, and to rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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