Mrs. Dubose in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
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Mrs. Dubose in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
"…[Mrs. Dubose] had her own views about things, a lot different from mine… I wanted you to see something about her -- 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…" (112). This is said by Atticus after Jem asks why Atticus makes him read to her. Atticus explains to Jem that Mrs. Dubose is a very courageous person and has the heart of a champion. And in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Mrs. Dubose symbolizes a strong mind, the will and determination to never give up, and audacity.
Mrs. Dubose, a strong-minded person, with "her own views about things" (112), has fought hard during her lifetime for what she believes in. She has learned a lot during her lifetime, and she learned to stand up for what you believe in, and show how strong you are by proving it "…don't you mutter at me, boy! You hold your head up and say yes ma'am…" (110). When she spoke to Atticus, she told him that "she disapproved heartily of [his] doings…" (111), and yet she still manages to "smile at him… [and] bring herself to speak to him when she seemed to hate him so…" (109). She is able to stand up for what she believes in, yet still able to respect others and their opinions, except when she is in great pain when she is without her morphine.
While off her morphine, she has fits, suffers much anguish and torment, but she endures through it, and determined to beat the odds, and take herself off the drugs
and die "without being willed to anyone or anything" (112). She believes that someone should die without being willed to anyone to be able to leave the Earth, and escape the shackles of pain. She may seem very boorish and vicious, but without her morphine, she cannot escape her pain, and must resort to yelling and acting rude. She has been in her bed, through the sickest of times "her face was the color of a dirt pillowcase, and the corners of her mouth glistened with wet…" (106), yet still able to fight.
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Although she antagonizes the kids, it is the lack of morphine that causes her to lose her composure, but it is the strength of her giving up her addiction, that makes her important.
Mrs. Dubose appears to the reader as a very brave woman because she fights through her addiction of drugs while she is very sick, and is about to die. She and her camellia flowers resemble each other because even after a trouncing, they still continue to grow and fight back "…thought you could kill my Snow-on-the-Mountain… Jessie says the top's growing back out…" (110). Much like her Camellias, Mrs. Dubose is intrepid and they continue to struggle even though they face imminent danger. Also, she stands up for what she believes in, and backs down to no one, even Atticus. When the doctor told her she would die soon, and she told Atticus, after he came to visit her, "[I] still [disapprove] heartily of [your] doings, and [I'd] probably would spend the rest of my life bailing you out of jail." (111). Fighting for her soul, "[she] had won, all ninety-eight pounds of her…" (112), and did it with all her might and courage.
During the course of the novel, courage is shown in the character of Mrs. Dubose and reflects upon all the protagonists of the novel. She reflected her bravery, her will and her thought during the spring before the trial of Tom Robinson, by fighting her losing addiction to morphine. Her bravery and spirit were raised in the same flowers that she
has been fostering throughout her life. Every day after his work, Atticus would come to visit Mrs. Dubose and check on her health, but he actually visited her for inspiration and to continue the losing battle. It has been said by Atticus, inspired by her bravery, "real courage is… when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what…" (112), and she gave him potency to continue on fighting for what is right, and the will to continue his fight against an inevitable verdict, with the courage of an shrewd lady behind him.
This is my assignment on To Kill a Mockingbird. Can you help me check through and comment on my styles? Can you give me some advice on how to do a better analysis in terms of writing structure? I tries to give point-evidence-elaboration. Please tell me if there is something lacking.
Thanks so much in advance:)
"Real courage is- when you know you are licked before you begin, but you begin anyway, and you see it through no matter what..." Discuss the concept of courage as depicted by Mrs. Dubose and Atticus.
Harper Lee introduced the concept of moral courage through the image of Mrs. Dubose, a morphine addict who wished to get rid of her painkiller before leaving the world and Atticus Finch, the principled lawyer who went against the prejudiced society of Maycomb to protect a black man, Tom Robinson.
Mrs. Dubose had been taking morphine as a painkiller, prescribed by doctors, for years. Before she died, she wanted to get rid of the drug, so that she would die "beholden to nothing and nobody". As an old and sick woman, she had every right for take the drug to live the few months left in peace, "to make things easier", as Atticus said, but she followed her personal principles and chose the other way. Her decision resulted in a series of withdrawal fits. Jem and Scout were made to come to her house to read for her every day, and they were terrified to see "cords of saliva collect on her lips" and "her mouth seemed to have a private existence of its own". Mrs. Dubose asked them to come and read for her so as to distract her from the unmitigated agony. In fact, she was in a world of her own and did not hear the children; most of the time she would be waiting for the alarm clock to ring. And as the children noticed, the alarm clock rang a few minutes later every day, they stayed back a few minutes later everyday, and by that time, Mrs. Dubose had already been deep in her fits.
Mrs. Dubose exemplified moral courage, as she neglected her own personal suffering to follow her own principles. She could have chosen to take the drug to die without agony, but she was too contrary. And thus, she died "beholden to nothing and nobody". As Atticus said, "she won", with no guns or pistols but with her own determination, and she was the bravest person he had ever known. Harper Lee could have chosen a more likable character, like Miss Maudie, to show the goodness of people. Instead, she chose Mrs. Dubose, the prejudiced member of Maycomb, who insulted Atticus as "nigger-lover" to show the concept of courage. By doing so, Lee suggests that there is always something good in everybody, no matter how unappealing that person appears to be. Moreover, this courage concept is contrasted with her prejudice, thus becoming more outstanding for the audience.
Throughout the novel, Atticus has been portrayed as the model of moral courage. He went against the whole town to protect the innocent black man, Tom Robinson. Before the trial, he had already been insulted by the term "nigger-lover" by many people, including his own family members. Francis echoed the ranting of Aunt Alexandra, saying that Atticus was a disgrace for the family, that "he would never be able to walk the streets of Maycomb". He was even confronted by his friends trying to talk him out of it, as Link Deas said, "[Atticus] has everything to lose". Atticus did realise this problem; he knew that he was "fighting [his] friends"; "no matter how bitter things get, they are still [his] friends and this is still [his] home". Despite all the pressure, he determined to carry on so as to justice.
Before the case, Atticus had already known that he had little chance to win. He knew that with only "a black man's words against the Ewells", the white, "in the heart of men he had no case". There was no way for Tom Robinson to be proven innocent, for prejudice had been deep-rooted in Maycomb; everybody had an evil assumption that a Negro was not to be trusted, while a white man would never lie. He knew already that he would lose anyway, but Atticus kept trying to defend him, to bring the light of justice into Maycomb. The fear or failure was not strong enough to discourage him from his principle; it was like "you know that you are licked before you begin, but you begin no matter what".
Even when Atticus faced danger, he did not back off. In front of the Maycomb Jail, he was confronted by the lynch mob, without any weapon or protection from Heck Tate, who had "been called off a snipe hunt". The situation was so alarming that Mr. Underwood had to use his double-barrelled gun to try to cover for Atticus from his office on top of the jail. Atticus was not obligated by law to protect his client but he took on the responsibility so that his client could be judged in court, not by physical action, the kind of courage that Maycomb took as priority. Atticus put himself in danger's way to let the truth be told. Moral courage is Atticus's best asset, making him the most respectable keeper of justice in Maycomb.
Therefore, the idea of moral courage is deeply enforced in the novel through the image of Atticus and Mrs. Dubose.
Yes, you do. Each time you quote something, you have to cite where it came from. Not everyone that reads your text will know where the references lead to. Also, there are several different publications and editions of texts, especially popular classics such as this one. Thus, the page numbers do not always coincide. Just because a quote is on page 25 of your copy does not mean that the same quote is on page 25 of my copy, and that is, after all, the whole point of citing; so that others can locate where you got your information.
If the quote you are using uses a capital, then you have to use one as well. If the quoted portion is the beginning of the sentence, a capital must be used.