December 3rd 2013
In the novel To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee displays many courageous characters but the most courageous one are Jem, Atticus, and Scout. These three characters display a wide range of courageousness throughout the story. Like when Atticus protects Tom from the mob of people, or when Scout doesn’t conform to the “southern lady” stereotype. Jem displays courage from simple things such as accepting dares from Dill or even having the courage to try and not disappoint Atticus. The first very courageous character in the book is Atticus.
Atticus is the most courageous character in the book because of all the defending and protection he did towards his client, Tom the “accused” rapist. In chapter fifteen he went to the jailhouse to protect Tom Robinson from the mob of people that were going to lynch him. Although he was alone against several men Atticus held his ground until his children showed up. Atticus spoke to the mob and said “I don’t think anybody in Maycomb’ll be-grudge me a client with time this hard” (194). With this quote Atticus was trying to defend Tom even with the odds against him. He’d expected to get roughed up a little in the struggle to protect Tom but he never imagined that his kids would get in the way of everything. That’s when is courage failed him except for Scouts innocents which saved them all. It was still a very brave and courageous act though. Atticus also has courage because even from the beginning of the story he took a “black” man’s case despite knowing that he was going to get insulted and disrespected for doing it. “The only thing we’ve got is a black man’s word against the Ewell’s. The evidence boils down you-did-I-didn’t. The jury couldn’t possibly expected to take Tom Robinson’s word against the Ewell’s.” (284). Atticus solemnly explains this to his brother. First of all, Atticus demonstrates courage when he undertakes the task of defending Tom Robinson, a black man wrongly accused of rape. Atticus knows he won’t win before he even begins the case but he thought it was the right thing to do. Just like Mrs. Dubose he is judged before he even begins the case. Nevertheless Atticus knows that Tom is innocent and that he must fight for him. This is how Atticus is the most courageous character in the book To Kill A Mocking Bird.
Although Atticus shows a lot of courage so does Jem aswell. Dill made a bet with Jem that challenged Jem’s courage. Rather than looking like a coward, Jem took the challenge to touch the Radley house although he was really scared to do it. He couldn’t allow Dill and Scout to think he was a coward because since he was the oldest, his courage was a source of pride that couldn’t be taken away from him. Dill said “Let’s try to make him come out; I’d like to see what he looks like.” “Jem had never declined a dare” (16). Therefore it wasn’t even in Jem’s nature to back down from a dare which made him a very courageous character. Curiosity and silly dares wasn’t the only thing that bread courage in the book. Jem didn’t want to disappoint Atticus therefore he was forced to go back to the Radley place to retrieve his pants so that he wouldn’t have to explain where he had lost them. Although he knew it was dangerous and he was scared to go, Jem went to the