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Courage is valued among the characters, and they display it in varying amounts. The sisters are all aware of their cowardice as they perceive it, and while they sometimes fight for courage, in some cases they simply accept their cowardice. Dede in particular struggles with her cowardice. She acknowledges that it is a factor that prevents her from joining her sisters in their rebellious activities. She is afraid of losing her marriage and is afraid of losing her sisters. She does show courage, however, when she lies and says she is Minerva Mirabel.
Similarly, at the end of Chapter 9, when Dede lies in bed tempted to “just let go,” she means that she is tempted to stop trying to maintain her sanity. She talks herself out of it, however, thinking, “Courage! It was the first time she had used that word to herself and understood exactly what it meant.” For Dede, courage means staying strong for herself and her family instead of selfishly running away.