“I wanted you t…

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.” -Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

For Literature my class is reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I was reading this quote and wanted to share it with you guys. Atticus is probably my favorite character in the book, I love this quote. I believe this is what true courage is. It is standing up for you beliefs even if you know that you will convince no one. But you just might. It shows that you can’t give up! If you haven’t read this book, than what rock have you been living under? You really should read this book!!! Have a good day, 1 more day until the weekend! And I convinced my friends to watch City of Bones!!!!! Yeah!!!

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6 thoughts on ““I wanted you t…

  1. Is that really courage? Standing up for your beliefs even if you won’t convince anyone? Integrity(in the strictest sense) perhaps, but I don’t think it’s courage. Consider this: Neo-Nazis stand up for their beliefs even though they’re unlikely to convince many people. They consider it their duty in spite of public condemnation.

    They’re cowardly though, not courageous. They give in to the fear of what they don’t know and understand and attempt to eradicate the source of those fears. Courage is the ability to overcome your fears. If you don’t fear something, you can’t be possibly be brave, you’re only rash.

    This is why I’m not a big fan of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It just doesn’t stand up to deeper scrutiny. Thematically it’s just black and white moralism. That doesn’t mean it’s not readable, it’s just not that literary. This black and white world could make sense because Scout is 6-years old, and the world of a child is very black and white. However, Scout is not written with the voice of a 6 year old. Her voice is significantly older than her true age. Stylistically, the book falls apart.

    (If you really want to impress your teacher, write an essay about how “To Kill a Mockingbird has more in common with Children’s and Young Adult books. For these books tend to work on emotional rather than intellectual levels. The characteristics of these books tend to be children as protagonists, parents that are missing or distant authority figures, strong sense of place, and heavy doses of sentimentalism.)
    🙂

    1. Wow, that’s deep. You really look into things, don’t you? 🙂 I think that’s great! You would make a really good book reviewer! I suppose sometimes I have a hard time looking deeper into a book, I only read the fancy descriptions on top. I was just really moved by this quote, maybe it shows more hope than courage. But I think it takes a brave person to stand against everyone else. It takes courage to be the only one to say that’s wrong, even if a voice inside of you knows that no one will believe you. I agree with you that courage is the ability to overcome your fears. But it also takes a courageous person to stand up for what you believe in. 🙂 thanks for commenting!

      1. That’s what 2 years of studying Greek Lit does to you. 😀 And don’t worry, in the not too distant future you will be taught this skill as well.

        (You’re also right. I am a sort of reviewer. I’m a line editor. My job is to point out mistakes in writing. So if you ever need help or an opinion, feel free to ask me for constructive criticism.)

        I also agree that standing for your beliefs CAN be brave in many circumstances. However, it’s not the action, it’s the circumstances. It’s considered brave because most people fear humiliation, rejection, failure, and worse, and you risk that speaking out. However, you have to make a distinction whether the person speaking up is confronting their fears or being driven by them.

        Atticus’ explanation just doesn’t make sense. He doesn’t make any reference to fear which is crucial to understanding courage. I personally believe that Harper Lee made a mistake. When she says “courage,” she actually means “strength.”

        People ALWAYS associate strength with guns. That’s why they carry them, because the power to kill is a heady power indeed. Holding a gun is an Obvious physical strength.

        Continuing a task knowing you will fail is also a form of strength because failure, even when expected, takes its toll. Even though the defeated, rejected person may seem weak, emotionally they are strong. This is a Subtle emotional strength.

        “Strength” makes much more sense from a literary perspective. We think we “know” strength, but Atticus turns our expectations upside down. The man holding the gun seems strong but is actually weak. The man losing in court seems weak but is actually strong.

      2. Yeah, I agree. You won our little mock debate, if that is the right term… 🙂 I agree that you can’t have courage if you don’t have fear. That is a surprisingly meaningful thing to say, without fear you don’t have any reason to be courageous. Greek Lit… Fun. 🙂 Thanks! If I have any questions I’ll ask you!

  2. I glad you enjoyed our discussion. One should always discuss and analyze the books he or she is reading. It helps us to find hidden meanings and moments special to us. You’ll also become a more insightful writer.

    Though, if you’re ever interested in learning more about this, I highly recommend “The Red Badge of Courage” by Stephen Crane (who wrote this famous novel at the young age of 24.) It’s the story of a young soldier who dreams of becoming a war hero but instead runs away from the battlefield, deserting his companions. A very good book and Stephen Crane is much better than I am at exploring this topic.

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