Essay on Courage: To Kill a Mockingbird and Tom Robinson

Submitted By kateedunn
Words: 1298
Pages: 6

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Kate Dunn
Mr. Kowalski
Wednesday, December 18th
Courage Is Found In Everyone Courage can be found in many different shapes and sizes and in every single one of us if we dig deep enough inside of ourselves to find it. Courage is displayed in the novel To Kill A Mockingbird written by Harper Lee in the following three ways; Atticus defends Tom Robinson’s case in court even though he knows the outcome will not be in their favor, Tom Robinson stands up for himself and tries as hard as he can to prove to the court what the truth is even though he knows he can never win, and Mrs. Dubose weans herself off of her morphine addiction even though she knows that she is going to die. It is through these acts of the characters that Harper Lee displays how courage can be found in everyone. By reading about these three very different cases, you will see that each and every one shows courage under divergent circumstances and that no matter what the problem, a person can still have the courage to face it. In the novel, Atticus Finch is given a case of defending a black man named Tom Robinson of rape. In the town of Maycomb, the residents are not fans of coloured people and don’t believe that they are equal to the rest of the population. Atticus knows that Maycomb has these beliefs yet still plans to defend Tom’s case. In Chapter nine of the novel Atticus states, Dunn 2
“Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win” (Lee 101). This is stating that Atticus knows the outcome of the trial before even going into it but believes that he should still try to show the effort to prove Tom innocent. Not only is he helping Tom in his case, but he actually takes the case and has the courage to stand up to the rest of the community and help defend a black man. This takes a lot of courage because he is standing up against the entire court defending someone who is only a black man in the rest of the court’s eyes and knows that no matter how persuasive he is about Tom being innocent, the jury will still accuse him guilty because of his colour. Atticus does an outstanding job trying to defend Tom during the trial and proves many areas where Tom couldn’t have been the rapist because of different circumstances. At the end of the trial the jury leaves to discuss the outcome and what shall happen to Tom Robinson for a very long amount of time which proves that Atticus’ statements were taken into consideration and that a few jury members may have put Tom’s colour behind them. It takes a fair amount of courage to stand up to a large amount of people and completely disagree with what they all believe but Atticus does which makes him a very courageous man. During Tom Robinson’s case, the outcome is inevitable and Tom knows this. Even though Tom is aware of where he stands and what his fate would be, he still defends himself during the trail. In Chapter nineteen Tom Robinson says to Atticus, “Mr. Finch, if you was a nigger like me, you’d be scared too.” (Lee 261) This quotation shows us that even though Tom knows he has no chance of winning because of how Maycomb discriminates blacks, he still has the courage to stand up for himself and defend his case. Tom also takes courage in Atticus because he knows that Atticus will defend his case and stick by him. Tom could have easily just Dunn 3 accepted his fate and