How has Jem's understanding of courage changed through out the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird? 

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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In the novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Jem's understanding of courage changes.  As a dynamic rather than static character which means that he changes rather than stays the same, Jem as a young boy believes that courage is mostly a physical thing such as defending yourself by winning a fight or touching the Radley house on a dare. Later he learns from his father about the mental and physical courage Mrs. DuBose displayed to beat her addiction to morphine.  Jem watches the moral courage his father displays when Atticus decides to defend Tom Robinson and his physical courage at the jail when standing up to the crowd who want to hang Tom Robinson.  Then, Jem displays his own courage in protecting Scout when Bob Ewell attacks them on their way home stopping only when his arm is broken.  In summary, Jem learns that courage can be defined in many different ways from physical courage to mental, emotional and moral courage.  


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