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Mrs Dubose In To Kill A Mockingbird

840 words - 4 pages

There is no doubt that Mrs. Dubose is a racist and an overall cantankerous person. Even when Scout tries to be kind to her, Mrs. Dubose retorts, “Don’t you say hey to me, you ugly girl” (99). Insulting a seven-year-old child, who is merely trying to be polite, is especially cruel. So is mentioning that child’s deceased mother or insulting her father. Mrs. Dubose is clearly a racist; she tells Jem that his “father is no better than the n—and trash that he works for” (102). Associating an accused black man, and his attorney, with trash clearly demonstrates that Mrs. Dubose is one infected by “Maycomb’s usual disease” (88). It’s difficult to find anything remotely positive about someone ...view middle of the document...

Dubose would never want it. As Atticus explains to his children, Mrs. Dubose wants to be “beholden to nothing and nobody” (#). Some may view her desire to be independent as pure stubbornness, but Atticus views it as courageous, especially in reference to her determined fight to beat her addiction to morphine despite her impending death. Though it would be easier to give in to the drug, to live her remaining days free of pain, she chooses to fight the hard battle although she will lose (die) in the end either way. We can see courage in her determination to fight even when it’s easier to give in, a primary lesson in the book. Harper Lee coveys one of the book’s primary lessons about courage through a miserable, mean, frail old woman.

Even if we readers do not agree that Mrs. Dubose is “the bravest lady” (#), we can see that Harper Lee created her to make us change and question our opinions. At first we hate Mrs. Dubose; then we pity her; and by the time she dies, we may just admire her. Truthfully, I don’t admire Mrs. Dubose even though she has a few positive qualities; however, I do feel that I understand her, and that is thanks to the details Harper Lee includes to make Mrs. Dubose a well-developed character and the lessons developed in the book. The book teaches us to walk in others’ skin. If one walks in...

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