In To Kill A Mockingbird, what is Atticus' view of courage?
Atticus is an expert in walking around in other peoples skin, so he knows and accepts various peoples way of living. However, he notes a few people who are especially noteworthy, like Mrs.Dubose, for she cultivates a great amount of courage. Really, how does Atticus view courage?
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Atticus defines courage for Scout in this way, "it's when you know you're licked before you begin but you see it through no matter what". He is saying that courage is that if you believe in what you are doing, you do it even if you know you will not be successful in the task.
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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