To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are some examples of courage from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee?

Some examples of courage from To Kill a Mockingbird are Atticus's shooting of a rabid dog, Mrs. Dubose's decision to free herself of her addiction before she dies, and Atticus's defense of Tom Robinson.

Expert Answers info

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write4,539 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

One of the most significant themes in To Kill a Mockingbird is courage, and Harper Lee uses many of the characters and circumstances in her novel to demonstrate all facets of courage.

There is a physical courage which is demonstrated by Atticus standing in the middle of the street, facing off with a rabid dog armed only with a shotgun. This is an especially impressive feat to his children, of course, but Atticus now has to work extra hard to show them that there are other, more important kinds of courage.

The incident Jem has with Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose demonstrates another kind of courage. Here is an old woman who, we discover, is addicted to morphine. She is cantankerous, rude, and prejudiced; however, she also has a kind of inner strength which enables her to kick a long-time addiction in order to die free. Atticus tells Jem:

I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but...

(The entire section contains 621 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

amysor | Student

Throughout the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, all the characters show acts of courage. Atticus shows courage when he is surrounded by the mob who wanted to hurt him. Not once did he show any sign of fear, and to stand up to a mob takes a lot of courage. It takes a lot courage for Boo Radley to finally leave his house despite all the harsh rumors about him. Also, Boo Radley shows courage when he saves Jem and Scout on Halloween night. Jem shows courage when he goes back the the Radley place to get back his pants, his fear was big, he still overcame it and showed courage. Scout showed a lot of courage on the night of the mob, to stand up to a grown man, and to change his view on the actions he was about to take. These are only a few examples of the plently example of courages that the characters show.

rachellopez | Student

One huge example of courage from To Kill a Mockingbird would be Atticus being a lawyer for Tom Robinson. It would be unheard of in this time period for a white man to defend a black man in a trial. Atticus defending Tom put him and his family in danger, but he went through with it because he knew Tom was innocent.

Another example of courage would be Scout, Jim, and Dill walking up to Boo Radley's house. Even with all the rumors they heard about him, they still approached the house. Speaking of Boo, when he saved Scout and Jim, that was an act of courage. There are plenty more throughout the book, but those are just a few,