Courage in TKAM

Courage, If I Only Had Some Courage. The Cowardly Lion in Frank L. Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, was in desperate need of courage throughout the book, and was so desperate for it, he actually triumphed over the witch and bettered himself by defeating his beliefs that he was as frightened as a mouse.

The Cowardly Lion is a great example of courage, he was willing to fight for his friends, and no one could take that away from him. What he did took more then courage, it took a very important aspect of courage: character. Courage truly is more then just a man who is willing to kill a man for his country-however this is still a good example of courage- it comes down to facing yourself, and battling the man you see in the mirror, or the thoughts of an entire people. We see this in Ms. Henry Lafayette Dubose’s struggle with opiates; Atticus Finch’s defending of Tom Robinson, and the courage to change, illustrated by Scout’s refusal to fight on behalf of her father’s request, in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird.

Ms. Dubose exemplifies that if you want to change something about yourself then you must be willing to fight yourself until you reach success. We see this in her battle to rid her body of the medicine that was controlling her pain, so she could be a free woman when she finally passed away. We see this as an example of courage due to the fact that if you stand up to anyone it takes courage, however if you stand up to yourself and are willing to fight yourself, and break yourself of an addiction then by all means this should be done. It took courage for this to happen, and while she might be a horrible mean old woman, she’s still courageous, and she’s still a lady.

Another aspect of courage is standing up to the thoughts, and expectations of a community, and being able to say this is wrong in whatever way you can. Atticus deciding to take Tom’s case took courage, because he knew that it would make him talked about, and a bit of a pariah to some. However, when you stop an angry mob from harming a man, who could be guilty, simply because it’s the right thing to do, that takes true character, which is the most important part of courage. You would describe courage as “to act in accordance with one’s beliefs, esp. in spite of criticism.” This is the same way you would define character, when you do what is right not to be noticed, but simply for the simple fact that it is right. That is Atticus Finch put simply.

When you have the courage to change, despite the fact that you don’t have to, considering you are involved in only minor ways and you change simply because of the request from your father and you do it despite people shouting, “Scout Finch wouldn’t fight anymore, her daddy wouldn’t let her.”(90) and you take it without going back on your word, that is true courage, and true love for her father. The Cowardly Lion learns that courage is something you’ve had all along, you only had to do a bit of digging to uncover it. This is true from the many examples of courage where they all had it in their own way, it simply had to be uncovered, by the wanting to better yourself, the wanting to change for love of your father, and simply because it’s the right thing to do.