To Kill A Mockingbird: Final Essay
I finished reading TKAM. My mom assigned me the topic of the theme of COURAGE in the book. I chose three characters who showed courage and talked about it and showed evidence from the book about how they showed courage. I wrote a rough draft, edited and revised, and this is my final draft.
Courage Against the Flow
In To Kill A Mockingbird there are many ways that characters show courage to the reader. Courage is defined in the book in a special way. Courageous characters are able to stand up for what they feel is right even when others say mean or discouraging things. Some people in the book stand up for others even when it puts their own life at risk. Atticus, Tom, and Jem are three characters from the novel that represent to the reader this form of courage.
There were many times that Atticus stood up for what he thought was right when the others in the town thought it wrong. In the county jail, he stands up to a small mob to protect Tom Robinson’s life and also to make sure that he gets a fair trial. He doesn’t hesitate to get them away, even though they were looking for a fight and were armed. Atticus told Walter, “You can turn around and go home again, Walter,” (Chapter 15 PG 202). He soon makes them go away and prevents any harm. He is very diligent and courageous at most times.
In court, Tom always said the truth even as he was being cross-examined. He was courageous while others saw him as wrong. Tom told the cross-examiner, “She reached up an’ kissed me ‘side of th’ face. … I say Miss Mayella lemme outa here … I didn’t want to harm her …” (Chapter 19 PG 260) though Mayella and Ewell said a completely different story, he didn’t hesitate to tell the truth. It was very difficult for a black man to tell a different story than a white woman without fear of punishment or death at the extremes. Tom sticks with what he knows is the truth, even with the stress of Mayella’s story.
On Halloween, Jem politely brought Scout to the Halloween pageant. When Scout was scared, he was courageous enough to help Scout feel better and to keep her safe from the dark night. As Mr. Ewell came to harm them he fought to make sure Scout was safe. Jem shouted to Scout, “Run! Scout! Run! Run!” (Chapter 28 PG 351). What he yells to Scout shows that he cares about her and has the courage to put her life in front of his.
Many characters in the book represent the special form of courage where one person willingly puts there life on the line for another person in need and stand up for what they believe. People in Maycomb County were very pressured from racism and the different classes in the town, even among whites. For example, the Cunninghams and the Ewells are very poor but still get by even with the pressure of wondering what’s for dinner. The upper classes of people in the town looked down on the poor, and the poor looked down on the blacks. Tom Robinson was convicted of raping Mayella Ewell because the town was racist against blacks. Regardless of the pressures in the town, several characters were able to be courageous even when most of their neighbors were against them. These characters stood up to do the right thing whether they were in danger or scared. They were able to get through and stay with the truth.