1 Mezikasa

Essays Personal Courage Defined

To Kill a Mockingbird Personal Courage Essay

Get Your
Essay Written

Starting at Just $13.90 a page

How has the novel affected your ideas of PERSONAL COURAGE in the face of INJUSTICE/ prejudice? Refer to elements of the PLOT and specific CHARACTERS to support your position/ comments. As a member of the 21st century, personal courage is defined as the stereotyped image of strength and braveness. Popularized by the popular Nike slogan, “Just Do It”, the society of present believes courage to be able to doing what is necessary without limitations. This meaning however, is juxtaposed by representations of courage in the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Through the ‘Bildungsroman’ structure of the novel, the audience is able to relate to Scout as she grows and learns about personal courage in the face of injustice and prejudice. Atticus’ description of courage as “not a man with a gun in his hand. It’s knowing you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what,” [Chapter 11, Page 109] clearly shows his perception of society, serving as his inspiration for defending Tom Robinson against all odds. Miss Maudie, although only a lady, exercises her views in her tea parties and local gatherings and is not afraid to stand up for justice.

Lastly, Arthur Radley shows his own courage through the way he fights his fear of society by saving Jem and Scout. The above characters present a view of personal courage as doing what you believe to be right even when you know you are not necessarily going to succeed. This is explored through the social injustice of the 1930s in Maycomb, where blacks are considered to be lowly. Firstly, it is clear that Atticus displays courage for his support of Tom Robinson even when the rest of the prejudiced society is against him.

He believes personal courage to be deeper than just a “man with a gun in his hand,” [Chapter 11, Page 109] as seen through his hesitation to shoot the mad dog even though he was nicknamed “one shot Finch” [Ch 10, Pg 104] during his youth. Instead, he displays moral courage by pursuing his beliefs of equality and going against the traditional status quo and. In Maycomb, blacks are inferior to white people, and this can be seen through their seclusion in society. Atticus, as a white person, believes justice to be when everybody is equal, and stands up for Tom Robinson even though it is not the popular option.

He sets an example for his children, demonstrating that “You never really understand a person, until you consider things from his point of view” [Ch 3, Pg30]. This drew him a lot of opposition, being called names such “nigger lover”, which shows the injustice and prejudice that Maycomb places on black people and even white people who associate with them. Atticus not only defends Tom Robinson in the court case, he also stands up against the mob of people who were attempting to kill Tom. This shows his willingness to sacrifice his own life to protect what he believes in, which depicts a more stereotyped image of courage.

Even if he loses friends in the process and knows that he will not succeed, he carries on with the court case, showing his personal courage in the face of injustice and prejudice. Miss Maudie is another character who exhibits personal courage in the face of injustice, through her selfless and fair personality. In the novel, Ms Maudie acts as a moral yardstick. While most of the white people in Maycomb think lowly of black people in their society, Miss Maudie had a conflicting view that is similar to Atticus’. This is reflected in her support for Atticus in the defence of Tom Robinson and how she teaches the children about moral justice. Well, we’re making a step – it’s just a baby-step, but it’s a step,’ (Chapter 22 p222) clearly shows her determination in taking more steps to fight injustice in the community. As well as this, it is also clear that she respects Boo Radley, shown through when she says “Stephanie Crawford even told me once she woke up in the middle of the night and found him looking in the window at her. I said what did you do, Stephanie, move over in the bed and make room for him? That shut her up a while. ” (Chapter 5 pg48).

As well as displaying courage for injustice, Miss Maudie also displays personal courage when she looks positively at the burning of her house in a fire. She refuses to feel sorry for herself, and instead lets her loss become an opportunity for better things to come such as more room for her azaleas to grow. This spiritual courage becomes a learning curve for Scout and the responder, showing that even though she is only a lady, she still stands up for what she believes in. Arthur Radley, although secluded in society, overcomes prejudice and his fear of being judged by society and saves Jem and Scout from Bob Ewell.

Arthur Radley was isolated from human interaction after his childhood by the cruelties of his father, subsequently giving him a mysteriously negative image. Rumours circulate throughout Maycomb about how Boo “dined on raw squirrels” [Ch2, pg19] and “driving scissors into his parent’s legs” [Ch2, Pg18]. The Finch children along with Dill are curious about his identity, haunting him and even playing a role-playing game about him. However, he still reaches out to the children by giving them dolls and sewing up Jem’s pants when he knew Jem would be in trouble if Atticus found out.

When Bob Ewell attacks the Finch children, Boo bravely overcomes his years of introversion and saves their lives. By doing so, he has broken free after years of social and physical isolation and injustice and clearly exhibits personal courage. Even though the children have haunted him by continually trying to attract him out of his house, he saves them, risking his own life in the process. This is similar to the way in which Atticus risks his own life to defend Tom Robinson against the lynch mob.

As Scout and Jem mature into young teenagers and gain new perceptions of courage, the responder is also able to take away from the novel. Atticus teaches the children that courage is not only about being brave but also about standing up for what he believes in, which is the fact that everybody is equal and free from prejudice. Miss Maudie subscribes to Atticus’ beliefs, and publicly demonstrates her views despite not being a lawyer or physically strong. Boo Radley, an isolated figure, gathers the courage to step out of his comfort zone and save the Finch children similar to the why Atticus protects Tom Robinson from a lynch mob.

Do you like
this material?Get help to write a similar one

Through the novel, personal courage in the face of justice and prejudice has been explored through an interrelation of various moral lessons in which the responder is able to reflect upon. In the contemporary society, courage has been stereotyped in a different manner to how it is presented in the book. Courage of the modern day is about taking initiative to doing what is necessary to be done. Prejudice remains as an apparent issue in society even until today, probably signifying the link between personal courage and prejudice. If personal courage in moral senses were promoted more, would prejudice and injustice still exist in our society?

Author: Gene Jeremiah

in To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Personal Courage Essay

We have so large base of authors that we can prepare a unique summary of any book. Don't believe? Check it!

How fast would you like to get it?

Post your essay. Get expert feedback. For free.

We're trying to help students improve their writing the hard way. Do you know students who want critical essay reviews from a professor of English Literature? Click like to share. Click here to sign up and post your own essay. We offer no paid services. All reviews are completely free.

Being Courageous - With A Free Essay Review

Many people have great qualities, but not too many have courage! Courage is the ability to face a fear, pain, or a difficult obstacle. With courage you can stand up for what you believe is right or wrong. When you have an ability to have courage you can face anything at anytime. Courage is also being brave for you or for someone else. Having courage can sometimes make you fearless! Making you feel like you can be unstoppable and like you can go to unthinking able measures to get what you need. Many people like, doctors, polices, and firefighters all need courage to do their job. We all need doctors, police, and firefighters in are world to help and protect us. I am courageous! I have the ability to stand up for myself, what I believe in, and what I think is right. Being courageous also makes me feel like I can get done what ever goals I’ve set for myself. Being courageous helps me believe that anything is possible if you have the courage to go out and get it. I know having courage has helped me greatly to get where I am today and to stay focus on what I need to accomplish for tomorrow.

Have courage gives me the ability to stand up for myself, express my opinion, and what I believe is right or wrong. For instance, when I feel scared or like I’m being attack I stand up to the people that I feel are doing this tell them to stop or simply move myself away from these people. Also I can always say what’s on my mind or my opinion on a topic with a group of friends or strangers. If my opinion is different than the rest of the people courage gives me the strength to say that I have a different opinion then the others. Another great ability that courage gives me is the ability to express what I believe is right and wrong. In particular if I see something being done to another person such as bulling I will try to stop it the best way I can because I believe that bulling is wrong. Or another is if someone is going against saving the environment I will go against them because I believe saving the environment is only right to do.

Addition to that courage makes me feel like I can get anything I set my mind to done. If I know I want something that I have to save for I will have to get strength to not spend money for a while on nonsense things I do not need. Courage gives me that strength to not spend extra money and to save the extra money that I do have. Courage is also a great support system. If you have courage behind you can get support in whatever you need such as the push to finish school, to get your high school diploma or college degree. Courage can likewise be a self motivation, it can be that little voice in your head telling you “you can do it, just push a little harder for a bit longer!” and that little motivation can get you from step one to step two. Having courage helps you accomplish your goals, set newer higher goals for the next time, and the self confidence to know that they are possible to reach.

Furthermore, courage as well makes me feel like anything and everything is possible. That nothing is impossible and no or regret should follow you. With courage I feel like I can go out and get anything I want or anything that I might need. Courage will never give you the ability to dough yourself in any situation. It will help you stand up and face it head on with no regrets. Including being able to anything that you want with no dough’s in mind. Just knowing that you tried, that you never gave up, and knowing that courage will always help when you’re in dough.

Courage is not something you were born with it is something you gain. Courage is a great quality that helps me in many ways, it has not only help me to get to where I am today it will help me in my future to get to where I need to go. It will be a supporter, encourager, and a goal setter for my future. It will help me become a great person and leader. Courage is also something that is in everyone, just reach down inside and look for it, it will appear.



The essay is a little bit diffuse and a little bit repetitive. In your essay the word "courage" has lots of attributes and lots of benefits, but it seems especially to have the peculiar and unlikely benefit of creating certainty about the future. That certainty about the future becomes increasingly evident over the course of the following statements, which I cite also to demonstrate the amount of repetition in the essay.

"Being courageous also makes me feel like I can get done what ever goals I’ve set for myself"

"Being courageous helps me believe that anything is possible"

"Courage ... makes me feel like ... everything is possible. That nothing is impossible and no doubt or regret should follow you."

"Courage makes me feel like I can get anything I set my mind to done"

I suspect your courage is misleading you. Some things are possible, and some things are not possible. If you're suffering from a terminal disease, your courage might help you face the inevitable, but it won't allow you to avoid it. If your courage really makes you feel like everything is possible and you can do anything, however, then you ought to explain why. Why does having courage make you feel that way? Courage surely entails a willingness or an ability to confront danger or even, presumably, an uncertain future. But it's not clear why it also imparts a belief in a positive outcome. Moreover, if one actually had a belief in a positive outcome, isn't it the case that there is no longer any need for courage?

When I say your essay is diffuse, I mean that even though your aim is precisely to define "courage" and perhaps discuss its benefits, your essay defines it very loosely. I think the essay would be more meaningful if you stuck to the standard, narrow definition (willingness to confront adversity of some kind or other) and focused on trying to explain the origin and nature and presumed virtue, and perhaps also the benefits, of such courage. You might also consider the possible limitations of courage (can too much courage translate into aggresive haughtiness, for instance, or reckless endangerment of oneself or others?).

Finally, since your essay is so personal, it might be better, more consistent, to speak only of the impact of courage on you, rather than on your reader (e.g., say "It will help me stand up" instead of "it will help you stand up"); going back and forth between I/me and you/your is awkward.

Best, EJ.

P.S. Thanks for having the courage to submit your essay here. It takes courage to open yourself up to criticism. Also, proof read. And note that there's a big difference between being in doubt and being in dough, though it's not obvious which is the worse predicament.

Submitted by: narro10

Tagged...essay feedback, essay help

Leave a Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *