In 1999, in the sleepy town of Littleton, Colorado two gunmen wreaked havoc and destruction in the halls of Columbine High School. On that fateful day, there was one student faced with an extremely difficult choice. When Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold inquired: "Do you believe in God?" Her answer was yes. It was that decision that brought about the end of her life. In life, standing up for what you believe in is an exceptionally difficult task. Like this real life example, this theme can be shown in the novel To Kill A Mockingbird. Through out the novel, the author Harper Lee asserts this theme through an assortment of characters. She clearly exemplifies that true courage is standing up for what one believes even if it means risking something precious. .
Harper Lee asserts this theme through the character of Atticus. When Atticus takes on the task of defending the accused rapist, Tom Robinson, he takes a gigantic risk. Many people in the town he lives in disapprove of defending him because he is a black person. By protecting Tom and taking a stand for what is right, Atticus will receive hostility and condemnation for his opinions. He later receives many death threats against his own life and that of his precious children. For example, after the trial Atticus receives a threat from Mr. Bob Ewell.
It was Miss Stephanie's pleasure to tell us: this morning Mr. Bob Ewell stopped Atticus on the post office corner, spat in his face, and told him he"d get him if it took the rest of his life."(217).
Atticus shows true courage through this quote. Most people in Macomb County when threatened would change their opinions, but Atticus is willing to risk his own life in order to save an innocent man.
Another example of Atticus standing up for his viewpoint can be seen when the mob wanting to kill Tom Robinson confronts Atticus at the jail cell.
"He in there, Mr. Finch?" a man said.
"He is," we heard Atticus answer, "and he's asleep.