Illustration of a bird perched on a scale of justice

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

Start Free Trial

In to Kill a Mockingbird, what are quotes and page numbers showing courage by Atticus, Jem, and Scout?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Please note that page numbers can vary depending on printing; therefore, I will include chapter numbers as well in case your edition varies.


I wish Bob Ewell wouldn't chew tobacco (chapter 23, page 217).

Because the trial shows that Tom is innocent (although the verdict didn't) and because Atticus did his absolute best to give Tom his freedom back, Bob Ewell is livid. He threatens to kill Atticus and to "get him if it took the rest of his life." And he spits in Atticus's face when he tells him this. Atticus's reply above shows both his physical and moral courage. First, he keeps living his life just as he always has and doesn't bend in fear to Bob Ewell's threats, who is likely a man he should fear. Bob has pretty much nothing to lose in life. Atticus conveys this sense of peace to his children, who are concerned for his safety, putting them at ease. The quote also conveys the moral courage of Atticus, telling his children that "if spitting in [his] face and threatening me saved Mayella Ewell one extra beating, that's something [he'll] gladly take."


You're shamin' him, Miss Caroline. Walter hasn't got a quarter at home to bring you, and you can't use any firewood (chapter 2, page 21).

Atticus has taught Scout that although they don't have much, the Cunninghams use other means to barter for what they need, and they are honest and hardworking. When Scout tries to help her young new teacher understand why Walter Cunningham doesn't have lunch, Miss Caroline is lost. Scout bravely tries to explain the situation as delicately as possible, showing courage in standing up for her classmate who can't possibly afford to pay Miss Caroline back for the money she's forcing on him. Scout is stunned when Miss Caroline whips her in front of the class for her efforts.


If there's just one kind of folks, why can't they get along with each other? If they're all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? (chapter 23, page 227)

At the conclusion of the trial, Jem has the courage to look around his town with wide-open eyes. He comments that he once thought that the people of Maycomb were the best in the world, but now he sees the flaws in the foundation. It is not the best for everyone, and even the talents of his father could not change the outcome for Tom Robinson. As the older sibling, Jem is beginning to reevaluate his perception of the world and figure out how he can make a difference, even in small ways like saving a roly-poly a chapter later because it never hurts anyone.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

the silence, I heard them crack. Atticus rubbed his eyes and chin; we saw him blink hard. (chapter 10)

 Atticus calmly folding his newspaper and pushing back his hat became Atticus standing in the middle of an empty waiting street, pushing up his glasses. The full meaning of the night’s events hit me and I began crying. (chapter 15)


She gave Miss Maudie a look of pure gratitude, and I wondered at the world of women. Miss Maudie and Aunt Alexandra had never been especially close, and here was Aunty silently thanking her for something. For what, I knew not. (chapter 24)

Miss Maudie is brave when her house is on fire, but also when she is standing up for Aunt Alexandra.  Miss Maudie is not afraid to speak her mind.


Atticus describes Mrs. Dubose’s mental and physical courage.

From Atticus:

“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.” (chapter 11)

And another: 

“According to her views, she died beholden to nothing and nobody. She was the bravest person I ever knew.” (chapter 11)

 Atticus about  Mayella:

 “She knew full well the enormity of her offense, but because her desires were stronger than the code she was breaking, she persisted in breaking it. She persisted, and her subsequent reaction is something that all of us have known at one time or another. (chapter 20)


See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team