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What was the point of juxtaposing chapter 10 and chapter 11 of To Kill a Mockingbird?The juxtaposition: ch 10 ends w/ Scout and Jem being proud of... |

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In chapters 10 and 11, Harper Lee juxtaposes two significant events in Jem and Scout's lives, where courage and bravery are depicted and examined. In chapter 11, the children witness their father shoot and kill a rabid dog that threatens the community. They are proud of their father for shooting the dog and believe that he is a brave man for killing the dangerous animal.

In chapter 12, Atticus makes Jem read to Mrs. Dubose each day for two hours as a form of punishment. Mrs. Dubose ends up passing away shortly after Jem finishes his punishment and Atticus explains to his children that Jem's reading helped Mrs. Dubose conquer her morphine addiction. Atticus refers to Mrs. Dubose as the bravest person he ever saw and tells his children,

"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. You rarely win, but sometimes you do" (Lee, 116).

In both chapters, Harper Lee addresses the children's perspective on courage and bravery. In chapter 10, the children are proud of their father for shooting the rabid dog and view him as a brave man. However, Atticus challenges their perception of courage by elaborating on Mrs. Dubose's honorable battle with morphine. Atticus views Mrs. Dubose's battle with morphine addiction towards the end of her life as much more valiant and courageous than when he killed the rabid dog. Atticus's definition of "real courage" also coincides with his decision to defend Tom Robinson. Atticus knows that he will lose the case but displays his courage by valiantly defending Tom in front of a racist jury anyway. Overall, Harper Lee juxtaposed chapters 10 and 11 to emphasize and highlight the difference between what the children perceived as bravery and what Atticus defines as "real courage."

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