To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
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How does Atticus Finch show courage in To Kill A Mockingbird?

Atticus Finch shows courage in To Kill a Mockingbird by mounting a strong defense of Tom Robinson in the face of the disapproval of Maycomb's white community. He has the courage to risk both himself and his children to do this, even though he knows he will lose the case. He also shows courage when he kills the rabid dog, Tim Johnson.

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Atticus shows courage in To Kill a Mockingbird when he mounts a strong defense of Tom Robinson. This is courageous because the white community in Maycomb is hostile to the idea of a fair trial for a black man accused of raping a white woman. As far as the white people of Maycomb are concerned, an accusation of a white person against black person is the equivalent of the truth. Atticus knows his children will be criticized and attacked as well as him, but he has the courage to face that, too.

Atticus is courageous in putting his mind and heart into defending Tom Robinson when he knows from the start it is a losing cause. Atticus defines courage as standing up for what is right even when you know you can't win.

Atticus's courage is on display, too, when he kills the rabid dog, Tim Johnson. He stands up to the fear of being attacked and bitten, shooting the dog when everyone has cleared off the streets in fear. In this instance, Atticus also shows modesty: he feels no need to brag about either...

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