To Kill A Mocking Bird

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade May 2001

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Courage in the County To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee is an unforgettable novel of the childhood of a young girl named Scout Finch, and the hardships of her life. The young lady accompanied by her brother Jem, and her father Atticus. The family lives across the street from the inspirational, but hostile Mrs. Dubose. They live in a small Southern town called Maycomb County. The Great Depression had gotten the best of the restless citizens of Maycomb, which resulted in a lot of prejudice and racism. Part of the prejudice was about a black man by the name of Tom Robinson who was accused of the rape of a young white woman. Acts of courage had prospered in the county when individuals like Mrs. Dubose came over her drug addiction, when Atticus Finch took the rape case in court, and when Atticus Finch shot the mad dog on the loose.

Atticus expresses how much courage Mrs. Dubose has. He admired the way she lived her life. He knew that kicking a drug addiction was not was not easy, but she fought hard. But the drug got the best of Mrs. Dubose. "Mrs. Dubose was a morphine addict, " said Atticus, "She took it as a pain killer for years. The doctor put her on it. She'd have spent the rest of her life on it and died without so much agony, but she was too contrary- (111)" Mrs. Dubose had led a frustrating life trying to lick her addiction. Atticus reveals the secret of the addiction to Jem after Mrs. Dubose passes away. Atticus says that Mrs. Dubsose was the bravest woman he had ever known. She fought a battle she could not win.

Atticus Finch wanted to do what was right. He followed his morals, and took the case of Tom Robinson being accused of raping a young white woman. But with the racism of the county it would be a tough battle. The odds are against Atticus: " Atticus sighed. " I'm simply defending a Negro- his name is Tom Robinson. He lives in that little settlement beyond the town dump. He's a member of Calpurnia's church, and Cal knows his family well. She says they're clean living folks. Scout, you aren't old enough to understand some things yet, but there's been some high talk around town to the effect that I shouldn't do much about defending this man" (75). Atticus had taken a lot of grief from the people in Maycomb County. It takes a real man to do what he is doing. There is almost no chance of Atticus to win this case, but what kind of man would he be if he did not take the case. It is basically Atticus verses society.

Throughout the novel Atticus Finch reveals acts of courage. A mad dog was on the loose of the streets of Maycomb, but Atticus Finch being the excellent shot that he was took matters into his own hands. "With movements so swift they seemed simultaneous. Atticus's hand yanked a ball-tipped lever as he brought the gun to his shoulder"¦the rifle cracked (96).

Doing what it right is what Atticus lives by. He knows that this dog was a dangerous and harmful animal. So he took matters into his own hands. His earlier shooting experience helped out later on, because with one shot Atticus took care of business. Even though he does not like to be involved with guns anymore, he had to do what was right.

Atticus Finch and Mrs. Dubose were upstanding citizens of their county, and it shows by their duties of courage. Mrs. Dubose, a weak old woman stood up to the elements of her life. This was an outstanding accomplishment. Atticus Finch is a role model for the American man. The way he approaches life should be the way we all approach it. This was the perfect time and place for courage. Maycomb County was lucky to have people as strong as them.