To Kill a Mockingbird

Atticus's Explanation Of Why Mrs. Dubose Is A Great Lady

Atticus explains to the children why he thinks Mrs. Dubose is a "great lady"

and a brave soul. How does this fit with his explanation of why he is defending 

Tom Robinson?

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Atticus feels that Mrs. Dubose is, "the bravest woman he has ever met." It is her addiction to morphine and subsequent effort to rid herself of it that has transformed her into the bitter old lady that she is. Atticus points out that any man can hold a gun and feel brave. Mrs. Dubose has the inner courage to break her addiction before she dies. Similarly, people cannot see the beauty in Tom Robinson. Most people cannot get past his race and the accusations made at him.