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To Kill a Mockingbird: Choose a Flat or Round Character and Evaluate How He/She Contributes to Your Understanding of Courage

  • Date Submitted: 04/04/2010 02:26 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59 
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The character I’ve chosen to evaluate is Walter Cunningham Sr., also known as Mr Cunningham in the story. Mr Cunningham is a round character as he possesses many qualities but yet still has his own weaknesses.

Mr Cunningham is a man with dignity and has his own principals. When Atticus offered his services to Mr Cunningham free of charge, Mr Cunningham, despite his family’s financial difficulties, declined his offer and even went to great lengths to pay him. Though the Cunninghams were so poor they “had probably never seen three quarters together at the same time” (26), Mr Cunningham still went to great lengths to pay Atticus via goods instead of money, such as “a sack of hickory nuts” (26), “a crate of smilax and holly” (26) and the like. The Cunninghams may have been poor folks but they have the basic moral values to know not to live off others, preferring to be independent and not be a burden to others. Throughout the years, the Cunninghams were always very poor but they “never took anything they can’t pay back” (26) and “never took anything off of anybody, they get along on what they have” (26). This clearly shows the pride Mr Cunningham takes in obeying his own principals as he feels that it was wrong to take or benefit from others and yet have nothing to give in return. Mr Cunningham and his family are respectful and dignified people, proudly eking out enough to survive from the land rather than going on welfare. Thus we can tell that Mr Cunningham is a man who lives according to his moral values and self principals, making him an honorable and dignified man.

However, Mr Cunningham also has his weak points as he is a bigot who is subjected to animosity towards most blacks, such as Tom Robinson. Without obtaining any concrete evidence, Mr Cunningham immediately falsely accused Tom Robinson of raping Mayella Ewell, even leading a mob of friends from Old Sarum, and tried to lynch Tom Robinson the night before the trial. This action of his was unexpected...

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