Essay On Mrs. Dubose Is Courageous In To Kill A Mockingbird


When people think of courage, they think of superheroes battling villains and saving cities. However, true courage is also going through with something that might not have a positive outcome. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, the narrator learns about true courage from the people around her. These characters in the novel display true courage in the face of adversity.

An example of a character who is courageous is Mrs. Dubose. When Atticus explains the true meaning of courage, he states, “... I wanted you to see what real courage is… It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what” (Lee 149). This shows courage is about continuing to do something until the end, even if it becomes challenging to do so. Mrs. Dubose is courageous because she was able to die without being addicted to morphine, even if she was in a lot of pain. She persevered because she wanted to die “beholden to nothing and nobody” (Lee 149). Mrs. Dubose was able to show how she was a courageous character by staying true to her beliefs no matter how painful or challenging it was.

Another courageous character in the novel is Atticus. When Scout questions why he is defending Tom when he knows he cannot win, Atticus says, “Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win” (Lee 101). Atticus shows his courage because he is following his morals and fights for justice even if he cannot win. He does the right thing by defending Tom Robinson despite the town’s reaction. Atticus is motivated by what he believes is right. When he is explaining to Scout why he is defending Tom Robinson, he says “... if I didn’t I couldn’t hold up my head in town… ” (Lee 100). Not only are Atticus and Mrs. Dubose considered courageous, but Boo Radley is as well. 

Boo is courageous because he steps out of his house to protect the kids.  When Heck Tate is talking to Atticus about who killed Bob Ewell, he says, “... Mr. Finch, taking the one man who’s done you and this town a great service an‘ draggin’ him with his shy ways into the limelight—to me, that’s a sin” (Lee 369-370). Heck Tate is referring to Boo Radley and his courageous actions against Bob Ewell. Boo is someone who does not like being the center of attention and can barely step out of his house. However, Boo risks leaving the safety of his home to save the kids from harm.  Boo is a character that is brave and steps up to protect the children even if he has to come out of his house.

Many characters in the novel display true courage and stick to their beliefs no matter what happens. Atticus and Mrs. Dubose show their bravery by continuing to fight the odds regardless of how they might ultimately fail in the end. Boo shows his courage in a different way by leaving the safety of his home to protect the children. Courage is not only about acting fearless, but staying true to one’s beliefs when there is not a positive outcome.

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