Courage in To Kill a Mockingbird: Examples & Quotes

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Empathy in To Kill a Mockingbird: Examples & Quotes

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 To Kill a Mockingbird
  • 0:25 Theme of Courage
  • 1:11 Courage Quotes
  • 4:20 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Molly Richards

Molly has ten years of middle school teaching experience and two master's degrees in teaching.

''To Kill a Mockingbird'' tells the story a racially divided town in the 1930s South. The theme of courage is apparent throughout the story as Scout and her older brother, Jem, come face to face with understanding the world in which they live.

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird tells the story of Maycomb County, Alabama during the 1930s. Ten-year-old Scout lives with her brother Jem and father Atticus, a prominent lawyer. Atticus is a very well-respected man among the whites and blacks living in town, but finds conflict when he agrees to defend a black man named Tom Robinson in a rape case.

Theme of Courage

Courage is a strong theme in To Kill a Mockingbird. The South during the 1930s was a place of rules, traditions, and expectations, and people that challenged this were ridiculed and cast out. This was particularly true for the racial divide between whites and blacks. Scout and Jem have a hard time understanding this, especially when they are treated poorly after their father takes on the Robinson case. But Atticus uses these as teachable moments to show his children how to handle situations that require self-control and courage. Atticus never places blame on whites or blacks because, as he teaches his children, you never know what another person is going through. Let's take a closer look at how the theme of courage appears in the novel by examining some quotes.

Courage Quotes

Mrs. Dubose is Jem and Scout's neighbor. They have to pass her house on their way to town and hated when she was out on her porch. She was old, mean, and never had anything nice to say. 'Jem and Scout hated her,' Harper Lee writes. But whenever Atticus saw her he tipped his hat and said the most pleasant things to her, even when she had nothing nice to say back. Scout cannot understand how her father can be so nice to such a mean old woman, and yet he shows courage by being the bigger person, especially in front of his children. In Chapter 11, Scout says, It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account