Courage in I Am the Messenger is not a feeling but a way that you behave. Although you might feel frightened or sick, you can still behave bravely, you still choose to act. Ed doesn't become unafraid while dealing with the messages he's sent, instead he just learns how to act in spite of that fear. And since for Ed courage is linked to self-confidence, as he takes action throughout the book, his confidence in who he is and how he wants to be in the world grows too. So courage has multiple benefits in this book, helping both the people whose lives Ed steps into and Ed himself along the way.
Questions About Courage
When does Ed become courageous? At what point does he decide to do something about Edgar Street?
Why do we see Ed so fearful in the beginning? In what ways does that help us understand the obstacles he's overcome in the novel?
Which messages require the most amount of courage for Ed? Why?
Chew on This
Throughout the novel, Ed figures out that courage is needed to make his life mean something more than it did.
Even though Ed acts bravely on quite a few occasions, he is still as scared of what his life holds at the end of the novel as he was at the beginning.