Real courage is about having moral courage. Moral courage is being able to say “no” despite being ridiculed for it. It means your strength of character and principle is stronger than the opinions of others. In this story, there are three brothers (oldest to youngest): Henry, James, and George. Henry urges George to throw a snowball at the school room door and startle everyone. George says no at first, but the instant Henry calls him names to hurt his pride, “‘Why George, are you turning coward? I thought you did not fear anything. We shall have to call you chicken- hearted,'” George agrees and throws the snowball. George is subsequently punished for his actions, which shows real courage is withstanding petty comments and holding true to your beliefs even if it is for something silly such as not throwing a snowball.
One contemporary children’s show this relates to is “The Proud Family.” The main character, Penny Proud, is a 12 year old girl that often finds herself in sticky situations. As a teenager, she sometimes caves into peer pressure to uphold her image. Her friends push her to do things she knows is not right. For example, one time she lies to her parents and sneaks into a teen nightclub against her parent’s order. She gets caught and is grounded. This is similar to George who falls under peer pressure by his brother and throws a snowball despite knowing he will get into trouble for it.
Abbots, Messrs. “Real Courage.” Forgotten Chapters of Boston’s Literary History. MESSRS. ABBOTT, Mount Vernon Reader, a Course of Reading Lessons, New York: Collins, Keese & Co., 1841. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2015