A hook is something that makes your reader want to read on. Let me give you a few ideas.
First, since you have your thesis (courage), think of something that interests you to put in your introduction. If you find something interesting, then there is a good chance that your reader will find it interesting as well. What I am referring to here is content.
Second, think of form. In other words, think of how you want to package your content. Keep in mind that form is as important as content.
In view of these two points, let me give you a few examples to get you started.
Start with a quote. “Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win,” Atticus said.
If you started with these words, I am almost positive that your reader will want to read on.
Start with a question. What is courage? This is a simple way to start, but it is effective in hooking your reader.
If you are writing a hook in an essay to explain why Atticus was a hero, then I am assuming that your essay is a persuasive or argumentative essay with a counterclaim refutation.
When I write an essay, the hook is always general, much like in a lab report. The introduction in a lab report goes from general/broad to --> specific/what was being tested in the experiment. You can see how this is structured in the image attached below.
A hook is supposed to grab the reader's attention. In this case, you are talking about how someone was heroic. So, I would start the introduction off with one of the following, just to give you some examples:
- An example of how someone can be heroic
- A historical example of how someone was heroic
- What makes a hero/what to accomplish to be considered a hero
- The importance of a hero
From the hook, you would gradually lead the reader to your claim that Atticus is a hero.
Hope I helped!
To be unique, begin your essay by pointing out Atticus' failure in saving Tom Robinson. We do not tend to think of those who fail at a task as being heroic. This allows you to point to the larger issues in the novel such as standing on moral principles and being a role model for others. Atticus is not heroric because he won, he is heroic because he stood on principle. The novel provides you with a plethora of examples of Atticus's focuscon principle as well as how his actions influenced Scout and others in town.