To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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In To Kill a Mockingbird, how does Atticus show courage throughout the book?

In To Kill a Mockingbird, how does Atticus show courage throughout the book?

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Rebecca Hope eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Atticus displays both inner and outward courage. As a person of integrity, he shows inner courage when he stands by his principles even when it means other people might speak ill of him or think less of him. He is willing to endure interpersonal conflict rather than compromise what he knows is right. He displays this type of courage on several occasions. When Alexandra, his sister, suggests that her presence in the home means Atticus can let Calpurnia go, he remains loyal to her despite his sister's disapproval. When Jem destroys Mrs. Dubose's flowers, Atticus requires Jem to make amends even...

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zumba96 | Student

Atticus had to deal with a lot of people plotting against him because of the fact that he is taking up the side of justice which is also with an African man. Because of that he had to deal with a lot of hate and through the whole ordeal he never let go of his ideals and helped Tom. 

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harry7459 | Student

Moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, or discouragement. This is displayed when Atticus defends Tom because he cannot defend himself and he knows he will not get a fair trial. This shows Atticus’s morals are strong and despite knowing the consequences he sticks by his morals and defends Tom ‘displaying his point of view’ despite that a black man is always guilty. Atticus is ‘same in his house as he is on the public street’ strongly shows the moral courage displayed by him. Atticus does not regret Calpurnia disciplining his children as ‘[Calpurnia] tried to bring them up according to her lights, and Cal's lights are pretty good’. Atticus’s acceptance of Calpurnia as ‘parent’ is a brave thing to do, as this is not normal within Maycomb, to let a black woman discipline their children, therefore Atticus showed a moral act, which took a lot of courage. Bob Ewell coming up to Atticus and spitting on him shows great disrespect to Atticus, however he refuses to step down to Bob Ewell's level.  Ewell realizes he failed to lure Atticus into a fight, he says, "too proud to fight..." to which Atticus responds, "No, too old.". This shows that Atticus has strong morals against violence, and does not condone Ewells actions. The notion of real courage is shown throughout the novel by using moral courage.

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