How is bravery shown in To Kill a Mockingbird?

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Examples of bravery found in To Kill a Mockingbird:

SCOUT.  Scout most often shows her bravery with her fists--always willing to fight boys like Walter Cunningham Jr. and her cousin, Francis--and even with her feet, when she kicks one of the members of the lynch mob in order to protect Jem; meaning to kick him in the shin, she "aimed too high."

ATTICUS.  Atticus shows his bravery in undertaking the defense of Tom Robinson, knowing that it may bring trouble to him and his family; and when he solitarily stands up to the lynch mob at the jail.

JEM.  Jem bravely defends his sister against the attack by Bob Ewell before he is overcome. His repeated attempts to make contact with Boo Radley show a form of bravery, especially in the minds of Scout and Dill.

MR. AVERY.  He surprises the children when he is the last man out of Miss Maudie's burning house, trying to save as much of her possessions as possible.

BOO RADLEY.  The novel's greatest moment of bravery comes when Boo appears for the first time to save Jem and Scout from Bob Ewell's dastardly attack.

MAYELLA EWELL.  Though Mayella never backs off from her lie about the events leading up to the charges against Tom Robinson, she nevertheless shows courage just by standing up to the barrage of questions by Atticus.

TOM ROBINSON.  Tom shows courage by entering the Ewell house in order to help out the needy Mayella.

davmor1973 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'd just like to add a couple more examples of bravery in To Kill A Mockingbird. Scout calls Atticus "the bravest man who ever lived." This is because of his polite, gentlemanly behavior towards Mrs. Dubose. She's a mean old lady who lives down the street and scowls and screams abuse at Jem and Scout whenever they walk past. But Atticus always doffs his hat and says good morning to the old lady each time he passes by.

This leads us to another example of bravery. Atticus, for his part, thinks that Mrs. Dubose is the bravest person he ever knew. She was a sick old lady, her body wracked with pain, and over the years, she had developed an addiction to morphine. She wanted to kick the habit before she died, and this elicits the admiration of Atticus:

"[R]eal courage is . . . when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what."

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question