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Can you please tell me what this quote means "The bravest of individuals is one...

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sohail718 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 16, 2008 at 1:50 AM via web

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Can you please tell me what this quote means "The bravest of individuals is one who obeys his or her conscience?" Support this quote with three pieces of literature. 

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mom2tristan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted November 16, 2008 at 2:39 AM (Answer #1)

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The quote is saying that sometimes the hardest thing to do is to listen to your conscience (that inner voice that tells you what is right and wrong) rather than to go along with what everyone else is doing.  People (in books and in life) are frequently tempted to follow the lead of others, which is often not brave at all.  Instead, sometimes a character is more brave when they challenge what others are saying or doing, and act on their own, choosing to do what the believe is right, regardless of the potential consequences.

In tackling this topic, look back over the stories you have read and identify three characters who chose to do what they believed was right, even though there was some risk in doing so.  (The risk might have been to their physical well being, as in Nazi Germany when people who spoke out could be killed, or, it could be emotional, as in a student who speaks out against a bully who is popular an may then lose all of his or her friends.)  Identify what their conscience told them to do, and why doing so was so brave, and then find a quote to support each example. This will become the body of your analysis.

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tpisano | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted November 16, 2008 at 3:51 AM (Answer #2)

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This quote means that it sometimes very difficult to listen to your conscience and let it guide your decisions. We are often tempted to take paths that we know we should not and must be brave enough to make the right decisions.

There are many stories that contain this theme such as Of Mice and Men, Jane Eyre, The Lord of the Flies, and The Crucible to name a few.  

Once you have determined which literature you have read and have a deep enough understanding of, you can find characters who were forced to make difficult decisions in their lives and were brave enough to be able to do what their conscience told them to.

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teach2know | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted December 14, 2008 at 11:09 AM (Answer #3)

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Some people sacrifice themselves in order to follow their heart.  Jonas in The Giver is one of those people.  He is sacrificing everything he has and knows to go against his Utopian society.

Another book example is Hatchet by Gary Paulson.  Brian, the main character, must listen to his conscience many times in the novel in order to make sacrifices.  That, in turn, makes him very brave.

Real life examples?  How about the brave people who everyday go against the mainstream beliefs of the people around them?  There are outspoken people about the war, about religion, or about race.  They are following their conscience with those beliefs and doing what they think is right even if the people that are close to them disagree.

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