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Themes In To Kill A Mockingbird English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 779 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak”, Winston Churchill said this during World War II. In it, he talks about the real meaning of courage and bravery as well as how a person can demonstrate it. Bravery and courage is hard for a person to show; it does not show who is stronger or weak but who can stand up for what they believe in. For many people, bravery means to do something others would be afraid to do, such as going to war and fighting for freedom. Bravery and courage also means to stand and fight for something a person believes in, not necessarily in a physical fight but by standing up and speaking for what they believe in. The theme of bravery is one of the many themes, which Harper demonstrated on her novel To Kill a Mockingbird where courage and bravery is shown by Atticus, one of the main characters. Atticus shows bravery and courage by standing up and defending an African-American in a court trial even when he knew he would lose it. People are brave just by standing up, speaking to what they think is the right thing to do, and what they believe in.

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In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the definition of true bravery exhibited by the character Atticus when he had a discussion with his son Jem, that standing up for what someone believes in is true bravery and courage after Mrs. Dubose (a neighbor) had recently died, “According to her views she died beholden nothing and nobody. She was the bravest person I ever knew” (112). True bravery shown by standing up to what someone believes in, Atticus wants his son Jem to understand that and not to mistake the true meaning of courage and bravery. In Atticus’s way of describing it, he states that true bravery and courage is standing up and defending what someone believes in, even if others think it is wrong, like Mrs. Dubose did in the novel. Atticus then wants his children to know that courage and bravery is not defined by holding any weapon in hands.

In the book, Harper Lee also demonstrates another of the real meanings of true courage when Atticus tells Jem about courage after the conversation they had right after Mrs. Dubose had died, “I wanted you to see what real courage is instead of you getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun” (112). Someone who has a gun does not define real courage and bravery. Atticus knows this better than any one in the story because he loathes guns and does not want his children to use them or even point them at people. Through this novel courage is shown by the character Atticus in many ways and this is one Harper Lee made evident by demonstrating the courage of a man who did not need a weapon to stand up a defend that man a defend what he thought was the right thing to do even when others disagreed.

Harper Lee demonstrated the theme of bravery in many other aspects; another is when Atticus defended Tom Robinson at a trial of a crime that he accused of by others. The theme of bravery and courage is shown when Atticus is having a talk with Scout (his daughter) and tells her that he will be defending Robinson in the trial that will take place in a few months, “I’m simply defending a Negro… but there’s been some high talk around town to the effect that I shouldn’t do much about defending this man. It’s a peculiar case” (75). Even though Atticus knows that he will lose this trial he still does it because he thinks is the right thing to do, even if others don’t agree with him and a plethora of people insult him for doing this. To Atticus Finch, it is more important for him to stand up and defend this man than doing what others think is right. He does not need a weapon to do this but his own voice to speak up and this is what Harper Lee made evident on her novel.

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Bravery and courage are some of the plenty themes that are discussed throughout the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Bravery does not mean to do something others would not do, but to have the courage to stand up and speak to what people believe is the right thing to do. As Atticus did on the novel when he defended that man. A person does not need any kind of weapons to show bravery and that Harper Lee showed in her novel. Bravery and courage are things every person could have when they feel they need to rise and defend what they think is important. This is one of the many themes that Harper Lee made evident on her novel To Kill a Mockingbird that showed the true meaning of bravery and courage and that is to be applied for every person in the world when they feel the have to do the right thing and defend their beliefs.


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