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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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In To Kill a Mockingbird, what are three quotes that display that Jem and Scout show courage throughout the story?

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout shows courage by speaking up to Miss Caroline about Walter and saying, “You’re shamin’ him, Miss Caroline.” She also demonstrates courage by addressing Mr. Cunningham the night of the mob and asking, “How’s your entailment gettin’ along?” Jem demonstrates courage by telling Atticus “I ain’t going” on the night of the mob and by telling Scout to “Run! Run!” on the night of the Halloween pageant.

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Jem and Scout exercise courage in chapter 6 when they raid the Radley yard at night in an attempt to get a look at their reclusive neighbor, Boo Radley. Given the various rumors and legends surrounding their neighbor, the Radley property is an ominous, creepy place, and sneaking into the yard takes courage. Scout recalls Jem and Dill's plans by saying,

Dill and Jem were simply going to peep in the window with the loose shutter to see if they could get a look at Boo Radley, and if I didn’t want to go with them I could go straight home and keep my fat flopping mouth shut, that was all (52).

During their raid, Jem is forced to leave his shorts behind to make a quick escape. Later that night, Jem exercises courage by returning to the Radley yard to retrieve his shorts. Jem does not want to disappoint Atticus and risks his life returning to the Radley yard, where Nathan Radley is possibly waiting with a shotgun. Scout fears for her brother's life and recalls watching him leave by saying,

Jem’s white shirt-tail dipped and bobbed like a small ghost dancing away to escape the coming morning. A faint breeze stirred and cooled the sweat running down my sides (58).

The Finch children also demonstrate courage in chapter 9 when they arrive at Mrs. Dubose's home to carry out Jem's punishment. Atticus makes Jem read to Mrs. Dubose as a punishment for destroying her camellias as well as a way to help her conquer her morphine addiction. Jem and Scout both fear Mrs. Dubose, who is ornery and unpredictable. Shortly after entering her spooky home, Mrs. Dubose insults Scout, and Jem comes to her defense. Scout describes the situation by saying,

Jem said quietly, "My sister ain’t dirty and I ain’t scared of you," although I noticed his knees shaking (110).

Despite being scared, Jem and Scout both exercise courage by entering Mrs. Dubose's home and remaining in her presence for an extended period of time.

Scout demonstrates courage in chapter 24 by attending Aunt Alexandra's missionary circle. Scout is a tomboy, who prefers to wear overalls and feels comfortable playing outside. Aunt Alexandra and the local ladies are intimidating, but Scout accepts the challenge by wearing a dress and behaving like a lady. Fortunately, Miss Maudie provides much-needed support, and Scout mentions,

Miss Maudie’s hand closed tightly on mine, and I said nothing. Its warmth was enough (234).

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Scout and Jem demonstrate courage in many ways throughout To Kill a Mockingbird. For example, they frequently take bold risks and defend their family members and friends. As the other educator noted, Scout demonstrates profound courage in defending Atticus, but another notable instance in which Scout demonstrates courage is when she addresses Miss Caroline about Walter Cunningham Junior. She says:

You’re shamin’ him, Miss Caroline. Walter hasn’t got a quarter at home to bring you, and you can’t use any stovewood.

Scout knows that explaining Watler's situation could get her...

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in trouble, but she thinks that Miss Caroline is being unfair, and she is the type of girl to stand up for what she thinks is right.

Another instance in which both Jem and Scout demonstrate courage is when Bob Ewell is coming after them on the night of the Halloween pageant. Jem yells at Scout, screaming,

Run, Scout! Run! Run!

When Scout hears Jem scream, and she runs to his aid:

I ran in the direction of Jem’s scream and sank into a flabby male stomach.

In this scene, both Jem and Scout demonstrate courage by trying to protect one another in this scary situation.

Also, as noted, Jem shows a lot of courage the night of the lynch mob. This is the first time he ever explicitly disobeys what Atticus tells him to do.

"All right, Mr. Finch, get ‘em outa here," someone growled. "You got fifteen seconds to get ‘em outa here." In the midst of this strange assembly, Atticus stood trying to make Jem mind him. "I ain’t going," was his steady answer.

This is a serious and scary situation, especially for a young person, but Jem is determined to be present to try and prevent the mob from hurting Atticus and Tom. Scout also demonstrates profound courage in this scene by addressing the mob and saying,

Hey, Mr. Cunningham. How’s your entailment gettin’ along?

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In Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, there are several instances when Scout and Jem (Atticus Finch's children) show courage, shown in the following quotes.

Chapter One - Jem answers Dill's dare to touch the Radley house.

[Dill said...], "I won't sa you ran out on a dare an' I'll swap you The Gray Ghost if you just go up and touch the house."

...Then I sneered at him.

Jem threw open the gate and sped to the side of the house, slapped it with his palm and ran back past us...

Chapter Four - Jem wickedly propels Scout, tucked inside the tire, into the Radley's yard.

I got to my feet, trembling as I thawed.

'Get the tire!' Jem hollered. 'Bring it with you! Ain't you got any sense at all?'

When I was able to navigate, I ran back to them as fast as my shaking knees would carry me.

'Why didn't you bring it?' Jem yelled

'Why don't you get it' I screamed.

Jem was silent.

'Go on, it ain't far inside the gate. Why, you even touched the house once, remember?'

Jem looked at me furiously, could not decline, ran down the sidewark, treaded water at the gate, then dashed in and retrieved the tire.

'See there?' Jem was scowling triumphantly. 'Nothing to it.'

Chapter Nine - Scout isn't afraid to take on her cousin Francis when he insults Atticus.

Francis said he reckoned I got told, for me to just sit there and leave him alone.

'I ain't bother' you,' I said.

Francis looked at me carefully, concluded that I had been sufficiently subdued, and crooned softly...This time, I split my knuckle to the bone on his front teeth. My left impaired, I sailed in with my right...'

Chapter Fifteen - Scout takes on the lynch mob when one of the men gets rough with Jem.

'Son, I said go home.'

Jem shook his head.

'I'll send him home,' a burly man said, and grabbed Jem roughly by the collar. He yanked Jem nearly off his feet.

'Don't you touch him!' I kicked the man swiftly. Barefooted, I was surprised to see him fall back in real pain. I intended to kick his shin, but aimed too high.

In each of the examples above, Jem and Scout prove their courage, sometimes in the face of real fear, and other times when they act before they have the chance to be afraid.

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

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.

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

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)

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What are some good quotes related to courage in To Kill A Mockingbird?

In a bildungsroman such as To Kill a Mockingbird, moral lessons are learned by the maturing protagonist. One of the virtues that Scout and Jem both acquire from their experiences and the example of their father is that of courage.

Without question, Atticus displays courage in Chapter 10 when, unexpectedly, Sheriff Tate tosses him his rifle, and Atticus must take quick aim at the rabid dog coming his way.

With movements so swift they seemed simultaneous, Atticus's hand yanked a ball-tipped lever as he brought the gun to his shoulder. The rifle cracked....Tim Johnson didn't know what hit him. (Ch. 10)

In another instance of Atticus's calm courage, he and the children walk down the street together one day. When they reach the house of Mrs. Dubose, Atticus removes his hat and waves "gallantly to her" as he says, "Good evening, Mrs. Dubose! You look like a picture this evening." After talking to her for a while, Atticus returns his hat to his head, and he and Scout and Jem return home. Scout feels that her father has demonstrated tremendous courage in his calm and polite demeanor before Mrs. Dubose despite his knowledge of her having made insulting comments about him and the children:

It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived. (Ch.11)

Arguably the most courageous of Atticus's acts is his standing up to the mob that comes to the jailhouse in the night, demanding that he turn over Tom Robinson to them. As he sits in one of his office chairs propped on the front door of the jailhouse, Atticus appears to be reading his newspaper. When the dusty cars stop in front of the jail, Atticus calmly looks up from the newspaper, closes it, folds it deliberately, and drops it into his lap. He pushes his hat back and appears to have expected the "Old Sarum tribe." Seemingly undaunted by the mob, Atticus responds to one man's demand, "You know what we want....Get aside from the door, Mr. Finch," by telling Walter Cunningham that he and the others can turn around because Sheriff Tate is nearby. Then, when he is told that the men have sent Tate on a proverbial "wild goose chase," Atticus yet remains calm.

"Well, then...that changes things, doesn't it?" "It do," another deep voice said. "Do you really think so?" Atticus countered.

Atticus asks this question in the same tone as that which he uses with an opponent at checkers. Although his hands tremble as he puts down his newspaper, Atticus's voice continues to remain controlled, evincing his courage. Further, after Scout intervenes by greeting and talking with Mr. Cunningham, the tension of the mob is dispelled. It is only after the Sarum mob departs that Atticus wipes his face with his handkerchief and "blew his nose violently," revealing how nervous he was. He courageously refrained from displaying his fear to the Sarum men.

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What are some good quotes related to courage in To Kill A Mockingbird?

I will provide you with three quotes about courage from chapter 11 of To Kill a Mockingbird.  In this chapter, we explore courage in different ways. 

First of all, Scout comments about Jem’s bravery- a bravery that comes from surviving difficult things.

Jem, having survived Boo Radley, a mad dog and other terrors, had concluded that it was cowardly to stop at Miss Rachel's front steps and wait... (ch 11)

This quote about Jem demonstrates one aspect of bravery as explored in the book: you gain it by experience.  Bravery comes with growing up.  As you grow, you face your fears.  Jem used to be afraid of certain things, but as he faced them he became less afraid of new experiences and was able to face his other fears.

Second, fear sometimes means acting according to your conscience.  Scout comments that her father always stops to talk to the mean old Mrs. Dubose.

It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived. (ch 11)

This powerful quote shows how Scout is beginning to realize that bravery comes in different forms.  She is maturing, and realizing that her father is a remarkable man because of what he does on a daily basis.  Her definition of courage expands to simple things, beyond guns or fighting in wars.

Finally, one of the most significant scenes from the book is in this chapter.  You’ll notice that this chapter is building up to something.  This chapter foreshadows the different kinds of courage that will be needed later.  When Jem destroys Mrs. Dubose’s flowers, his punishment is to sit with her each day.  What she really needs him for is to distract her so that she can wean herself off morphine and die on his own terms.

To Atticus, courage is trying something even when “you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what” (ch 11).

You rarely win, but sometimes you do… According to her views, she died beholden to nothing and nobody.  She was the bravest person I ever knew. (ch 11)

This is the situation Atticus faces with Tom Robinson’s trial.  He knows that his situation is difficult, and he will probably lose.  Again, the trial does not require physical courage.  It requires the courage to stand up for what you believe in against impossible odds.

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What are some good quotes related to courage in To Kill A Mockingbird?

In Chapter 9, Scout asks her father if he defends "niggers." Atticus admits that he does and tells her that he wouldn't be able to hold his head up in town if he didn't. He tells her not to let people "get her goat," and to remain calm when provoked. Scout asks Atticus if they are going to win and he tells her "no." Scout wonders why he's going to continue with the case, and he says,

"Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win." (Lee 101)

Atticus understands that he is taking on a highly sensitive case that he will more than likely lose. Atticus knows that real courage is facing adversity head on, despite its challenges. He will remain courageous and display his integrity as a morally upright man by defending Tom Robinson in a prejudiced courtroom later on in the novel.

In Chapter 11, Atticus makes Jem read to Mrs. Dubose after Jem loses his temper and destroys her camellia bush. At the end of the chapter, Mrs. Dubose passes away. Atticus explains to his children that Mrs. Dubose was suffering from a chronic disease and was addicted to morphine. Mrs. Dubose knew she was going to die, but wanted to break her morphine addiction before she passed away. Jem's reading distracted her for increasingly longer periods of time in between her morphine doses until she was finally able to break her addiction. Atticus comments that she was the bravest person he ever met. He says,

"I wanted you to see something about her--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." (Lee 149)

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What are some good quotes related to courage in To Kill A Mockingbird?

One of the first descriptions of someone as brave comes from Scout herself as she talks about Atticus and the way that he treated some people. She is particularly impressed by the way he treats Mrs. Dubose who is so mean as to be frightening to her and Jem. After seeing Atticus treat her so kindly and speak to her in a way that softens all the meanness that Jem and Scout saw, Scout describes Atticus as "the bravest man that ever lived."

Another example comes when Jem and Scout are forced to read to Mrs. Dubose and they start to understand that something is wrong with her. After her death, Atticus explains that she was addicted and that watching her fight against that addiction proved to him that "she was the bravest person [he] ever knew."

Later in the story, Bob Ewell is described as brave but in a very different way. After his attack on the children, he is described by Mr. Tate as a "low-down skunk with enough liquor in him to make him brave enough to kill children. He’d never have met you face to face." Even though he was a coward, he could drink enough to make him forget all that and be brave in a rather terrible way.

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What are quotes that depict Jem, Atticus, and Boo displaying courage in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee?

There are several scenes throughout the novel that depict Jem showing courage. In Chapter 6, Jem narrowly escapes the Radley yard, but is forced to leave his pants behind after they get caught in the Radley's fence. Later that evening, Jem gets out of bed and says, "I'm goin' after 'em" (Lee 74). Despite the danger of entering the Radley yard, knowing that Nathan is waiting with a shotgun, Jem bravely sneaks out of the house to retrieve his pants.

Atticus displays courage in Chapter 15 when the Old Sarum bunch arrives to lynch Tom Robinson, who is locked inside the Maycomb jailhouse. When Walter Cunningham tells Atticus to move aside, Atticus says, "You can turn around and go home again, Walter" (Lee 202). Although Atticus is outnumbered and in a dangerous situation, he courageously defends Tom by refusing to step aside.

At the end of the novel, Boo Radley prevents Bob Ewell from murdering Jem and Scout by leaving the safety of his home and wrestling Bob away from the children. When Scout describes to Sheriff Tate what happened, she says,

"Anyway, Jem hollered and I didn't hear him any more an' the next thing—Mr. Ewell was tryin' to squeeze me to death, I reckon...then somebody yanked Mr. Ewell down. Jem must have got up, I guess. That's all I know..." (Lee 362).

The person who yanked Mr. Ewell down was Boo Radley. Boo Radley courageously entered a dangerous situation to defend two innocent children and successfully prevented Bob from murdering them.

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What are some quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird that show how Boo Radley, Tom Robinson and Atticus were courageous?

BOO RADLEY.  Boo's heroism becomes evident at the end of the novel when the neighborhood's "malevolent phantom" comes to the rescue of the children. Boo has apparently been keeping an eye on "his children," and he fights off Bob Ewell, eventually killing him. Sheriff Tate refuses to name Boo as Bob's killer, instead believing that

"... taking the one man who's done you and this town a great service and draggin' him with his shy ways into the limelight--to me, that's a sin."  (Chapter 30)

TOM ROBINSON.  Tom shows courage when he innocently agrees to enter the Ewell house--it was a dangerous thing for thing for any black man in the 1930s to enter a white man's home without permission--to help Mayella. It takes moral courage to take his chances in a white man's court and to speak the truth after other testimony has condemned him. It also took personal bravery to try and escape from the prison yard, though foolhardiness would be a better description.

     "And so a quiet, respectable, humble Negro who had the unmitigated temerity to 'feel sorry' for a white woman has had to put his word against two white people's." (Atticus, Chapter 20)

ATTICUS FINCH.  Atticus does not consider killing the mad dog an act of bravery, but his children do. He also shows courage by agreeing to defend Tom Robinson, knowing that he and his children may face danger for doing so. Atticus displays a quiet courage by refusing to lower himself to Bob Ewell's standards and fighting him in public. But Atticus's heroic nature is best displayed when he stands up to the lynch mob at the jail.

"It's all over town this morning... all about how we held off a hundred foks with our bare hands..."  (Dill, Chapter 16)

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