To Kill a Mockingbird

essay question: what idea does the author develop regarding the nature of courage and the impact it may have on one's life?

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I think that courage is tied in with the theme of heroism. In this sense Heroism means doing the right thing even when one has a lot to lose. Atticus takes the case for Tom Robinson at the peril of himself and his family (Scout and Jem). Atticus states that if he had not taken the case, he could "never tell Scout and Jem what to do again". Atticus lives the way he teaches his kids. Scout and Jem both see their father's courage and, in turn, begin to understand that there are responsibilities that come from being a human being. Often there is a price to pay for doing the right thing but, in the end, their actions help to shape them into a more enlightened individual.