No, there are no flame-breathing dragons or even dark alleys in Because of Winn-Dixie. Let's face it, the scariest place is Gloria Dump's yard, and even that is full of trees and flowers. And yet, the book is full of courageous acts. We're talking courage of the heart. Okay, okay, there was a courageous act involving a bear once, but otherwise, it's courage from a deeper place. Courage to stand up for yourself. Courage to be a friend when others are mocking you. Courage to change. And courage to let go. Let's face it: sometimes that inner courage is a lot scarier to wield than a sword.
While Opal had the capacity for bravery all along, she could not access her inner strength until Winn-Dixie came along.
Of all the characters, Otis showed the most bravery by facing his fears and coming to the party.