To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

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What is a quote from the book that proves that Atticus is courageous? Please include the page number.

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Towards the end of chapter 9, Scout overhears Atticus discussing the upcoming trial with his brother. When Uncle Jack asks Atticus how bad it is going to be, Atticus tells him that it is Tom's word against the Ewell's testimony and the jury cannot possibly be expected to rule in favor of a black man. Atticus realizes that he has no chance of winning the case but tells his brother:

Before I’m through, I intend to jar the jury a bit—I think we’ll have a reasonable chance on appeal, though (Lee 91).

Uncle Jack then suggests that Atticus not take the case and pass on the opportunity to represent Tom Robinson. Atticus responds by telling his brother,

Right. But do you think I could face my children otherwise? You know what’s going to happen as well as I do, Jack, and I hope and pray I can get Jem and Scout through it without bitterness, and most of all, without catching Maycomb’s usual disease (Lee 91).

Atticus's insistence on representing Tom Robinson in front of a prejudiced jury while knowing he has no chance of winning demonstrates courage. Atticus's decision to represent Tom despite imminent adversity illustrates his bravery and integrity.

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lsumner eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Atticus is quite courageous when Bob Ewell confronts him after the trial. In chapter 23, Bob Ewell spits in Atticus' face. When Atticus does not retaliate, Bob Ewell questions his courage by asking if Atticus is afraid to fight. Atticus responds by saying:

"No, too old." and walks off.

Jem and Atticus are talking later on about the incident with Bob Ewell spitting in Atticus' face. Atticus provides Jem with the reason he did not retaliate:

"Jem, see if you can stand in Bob Ewell's shoes a minute. I destroyed his last shred of credibility at that trial, if he had any to begin with. The man had to have some kind of comeback, his kind always does. So if spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayella Ewell one extra beating, that's something I'll gladly take. He had to take it out on somebody and I'd rather it be me than that houseful of children out there." 

Chapter 23 
pg 218

Truly, Atticus acts courageously by walking away. He handles Bob Ewell's attack with courage. He does not fight Bob Ewell. He chooses to walk away without a fight. It takes real courage to walk away after someone spits in your face. Atticus is a great role model for his children. He even has a sense of humor about the whole incident. Atticus proves his sense of humor by saying:

"I wish Bob Ewell wouldn't chew tobacco." 

Atticus has amazing self control. He proves to be courageous in the face of Bob Ewell's confrontation. Atticus' children learn so much about their father as he just walks away from a fight. It would have been easy to fight. It had to have been difficult to walk away from a man who spits in your face. Atticus has the courage of a real man. 

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