How Does Atticus Finch Show True Courage

1578 Words7 Pages
Courage throughout history has always been interpreted in many different ways; cowardice, defiance, and even idiocy. Often it is hard to recognize true courage until many years have passed. True courage is showing bravery and standing up for your beliefs and principles in times of strife. “Courage isn’t a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway” –Harper Lee. There are three characters that I believe showed true courage in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird: Scout, the tomboyish daughter of Atticus Finch who defended her family in times of hardship, Atticus Finch, the man who decided to defend a black man in court, much to the dismay of the town of Maycomb and Mrs. Dubose, the old morphine…show more content…
He shows true courage by taking the “Tom Robinson” case even though it cost him the respect he had from his fellow citizens. “Atticus, are we going to win it?” “No, honey.” “Then why—” “Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win” (Ch. 9, Pg. 76). Atticus said. Atticus knew all along that he was going to lose the case when he took it but he took it anyway. He took it because he knew it was the right thing to do. He tells Scout that he could not hold up his head in town if he did not take it. He is showing true courage for standing up for his principles at a bad time. A second time when Atticus was courageous was when Tim Johnson “The Mad Dog” was threatening everyone on the street. The minute Calpurnia called Atticus at his office he came home straight away to deal with the dog. “Maybe I can tell you,” said Miss Maudie. “If your father’s anything, he’s civilized in his heart. Marksmanship’s a gift of God, a talent—oh, you have to practice to make it perfect, but shootin’s different from playing the piano or the like. I think maybe he put his gun down when he realized that God had given him an unfair advantage over most living things. I guess he decided he wouldn’t shoot till he had to, and he had to today “Looks like he’d be proud of it,” I said. “People in their right minds never take pride in their talents, said Miss Maudie” (Ch. 10, Pg. 98). This quote explains that Atticus was the best marksman in Maycomb. He was like Katniss Everdeen with a rifle in his hand. He eventually decided though that his talent gave him an unfair advantage over living creatures, so he stopped shooting. Then, once Tim Johnson starts acting crazy and becomes a threat to everyone in the neighborhood, Atticus is very reluctant when Sheriff Heck Tate tells Atticus to take the rifle and shoot the dog
Open Document