How Does Atticus Show Courage

Words: 1914
Pages: 8

Nelson Mandela once said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” To kill a Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee, examines how characters in the story develop and show courage towards overcoming their fears. Atticus demonstrates courage by providing legal representation for a black man during a time of intense racial segregation. Scout demonstrates courage by overcoming her fear of Boo Radley, a social outcast within the town of Maycomb. Jem succumbs to peer pressure and develops courage but at the expense of becoming disobedient to his father. To bring about change, whether it is personal or social, requires courage on the …show more content…
Atticus fears for the safety of himself and his family because he believes in the innocence of a black man, who is guilty by majority consensus. The white community within Maycomb did not want Atticus to represent Tom Robinson, a black man on trial for rape and beating Mayella Ewell, a Caucasian woman. In addition to the general white populace of the town of Maycomb, Robert Ewell, the father of Mayella Ewell, feels contempt for Atticus. This novel is set during a time of severe racial inequality and social injustice where whites are more dominant to blacks. The result is a society that is intolerant and hostile against blacks. As a minority race, blacks do not have equal rights under the law. After the trial, Stephanie Crawford tells Jem and Scout to get off the streets because of what Robert Ewell says to Atticus. Stephanie tells the kids that “Mr. Bob Ewell stopped Atticus on the post office corner, spat in his office, and told him he’d get him if it took the rest of his life” (Lee 217). This clearly shows that Atticus and his family’s safety is in jeopardy. Even though the trial went in Mr. Ewell’s favour, his emotions could result in irrational and harmful actions against the Finch family. Robert Ewell is prideful and aggressive by nature. Atticus is responsible for the destruction of his credibility during the trial. Atticus