The role of cowardice and courage is one area in which both works can be compared. The social settings in both works are ones that do not validate courage and the central characters of both works must assert it. Harper Lee's work displays much in this regard. Atticus must do what is right, even at great cost to himself. George comes to this point in deciding what he must do to Lennie. Both Atticus and George can be similar to one another in how they face courage in predicaments that are very difficult to ascertain what is right. Cowardice would be present if both characters evaded the difficulty presented with upholding moral courage. Atticus would perceive himself to be less of a human being if he does not take the stance of defending that which he knows to be right. George knows that it would not be right if the lynch mob got a hold of Lennie. Both works feature the role of courage and cowardice in displaying characters who embrace what has to be done, even at great cost to themselves.
Through this display of courage and cowardice, both works offer a vision of what the world can be as opposed to what is. This transformational vision lies at the heart of both works. Atticus and George live in worlds where the Status Quo does not necessarily embrace what is morally right. Both characters must seek to do right in a world that might not automatically validate it. This transformational element helps to envision what can be as opposed to what is. Through this element of change, both works can be compared.