What are three ways that Mrs. Dubose is courageous in To Kill a Mockingbird?

Mrs. Dubose exercises courage by admitting that she has a problem, which is a difficult first step in recovery. Her decision to conquer her morphine addiction before she dies also takes courage. Regardless of whether or not Mrs. Dubose broke her addiction, she knew she would eventually die. Her decision to fight an unwinnable battle is courageous and inspiring. The third way Mrs. Dubose demonstrates courage is her ability to endure the pain of opioid withdrawals.

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While Mrs. Dubose is alive, Scout and Jem see her as an impossibly cranky woman whose appearance is downright repulsive:

Cords of saliva would collect on her lips; she would draw them in, then open her mouth again. Her mouth seemed to have a private existence of its own. It...

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While Mrs. Dubose is alive, Scout and Jem see her as an impossibly cranky woman whose appearance is downright repulsive:

Cords of saliva would collect on her lips; she would draw them in, then open her mouth again. Her mouth seemed to have a private existence of its own. It worked separate and apart from the rest of her, out and in, like a clam hole at low tide.

Yet after her death, the children learn that Mrs. Dubose battled demons of her own, and Atticus believes the old woman is an example of true courage.

Mrs. Dubose courageously orchestrates a plan that could keep her off drugs for increasingly long periods of time. By having Jem read aloud to her, Mrs. Dubose is able to focus on something other than her chronic pain. She didn't worry about what Jem would think of her, not even after she'd called Atticus horrible names. She was singularly focused on her quest.

She also has the courage to face the pains of withdrawal. Opioid withdrawal is particularly painful, with symptoms ranging from anxiety and body aches to vomiting and shaking. Mrs. Dubose is only ninety-eight pounds, but she found the strength to face the physical pains of withdrawal so she could "die beholden to nothing and nobody."

Mrs. Dubose also courageously faces her own death. Mrs. Dubose spends "most of each day in bed and the rest in a wheelchair," and she certainly realizes that her own life is nearing it completion. She lives alone with one servant in attendance to help take care of her. Yet she never complains about her suffering and doesn't even mention her pains to Scout and Jem during their many visits. The children had no idea that Mrs. Dubose was an addict or that her death was so imminent. Mrs. Dubose courageously faces death with an independent spirit and willingly accepts her fate.

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Mrs. Dubose demonstrates courage by admitting that she has a problem, deciding to conquer her morphine addiction before passing away and enduring the pain necessary to attain her ultimate goal. The first step to recovery is accepting that you have a problem and recognizing that your addiction is real and has become unmanageable. Mrs. Dubose exercising self-awareness at an old age and admitting that she has a problem is a courageous thing to do. She could have continued to rely on her morphine and dismissed her lack of self-control, which would have been perfectly acceptable at her age and dire condition. Instead, Mrs. Dubose chose to face the reality of her situation and accept responsibility for her actions.

Mrs. Dubose's decision to conquer her addiction and "leave this world beholden to nothing and nobody" also takes courage. As Atticus points out, Mrs. Dubose could have easily continued to take morphine and died a painless death. Regardless of whether Mrs. Dubose conquered her addiction or not, she was still going to die. Her choice to fight an unwinnable battle is the ultimate example of courage. Mrs. Dubose also demonstrates courage by enduring the pain required to break her addiction. Symptoms of opioid withdrawal are extremely painful and uncomfortable. However, Mrs. Dubose courageously dealt with the pain, relied on Jem's reading to distract her mind, and eventually attained her goal before she passed away. Mrs. Dubose's determination, conviction, and perseverance are courageous and inspiring.

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The story of Mrs. Dubose is found in chapter 11 of To Kill a Mockingbird. The three ways that she demonstrates courage are: by facing the world alone and sick for a very long time; by deciding at her old age to conquer a drug addiction; and by achieving her goal to die free from said addiction. For many years, Mrs. Dubose lived alone and in sickness. She was so sick that she became addicted to morphine, a drug prescribed to her by her doctor. Just facing each sickly day alone for years demonstrates courage. Then, when Mrs. Dubose figured she was nearing her life's end, she decided to overcome her addiction before she died. Making such a difficult decision like kicking a drug addiction at her age is also courageous. Finally, after her death, Atticus was able to report that Mrs. Dubose had achieved her goal to overcome the addiction and she died free of it. Atticus goes further to tell Jem about Mrs. Dubose's courage as follows:

"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 you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. Mrs. Dubose won, all ninety-eight pounds of her. According to her views, she died beholden to nothing and nobody. She was the bravest person I ever knew" (112).

Another way Mrs. Dubose showed courage is when she realized she had a problem with her prescription. Not many people can identify and then admit they have a problem when they are as sick as she was. For many, it would just be easier to take the easy way out and die with the drugs in their system, but not her. When she decided to do something about her problem, she didn't let any excuses get in the way of achieving her goal and that is courageous. Again, where many wouldn't be strong enough to admit they even had a problem, she did; and then she actually did something productive about it. 

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