In order to survive on his own, Kevin has to metamorphose from the wimpy baby he was at the beginning of the movie—a kid who can't pack his own suitcase—to the kind of energetic hero who can systematically dismantle Harry and Marv with a series of ultra-violent booby traps.
He develops into this Man of the Sword by conquering his fears. He faces off with the furnace in the family's basement, banishing the imaginary terror of it from his mind, and stops running away from Marley, realizing that he's a kindly old guy. These experiences help him fend off Harry and Marv, poetically earning him the right to be with his family again.
Questions About Courage
How does Kevin develop courage throughout the movie? What experiences are crucial?
What other characters in the movie demonstrate courage? How?
How do you think Kevin's newfound courage will affect the way he leads his life in the future?
Does Kevin demonstrate different kinds of courage? For example, is the way he deals with his fear of the basement, Marley, and the burglars different? What techniques does he use in these different cases?
Chew on This
Kevin finds courage that always existed inside of him. He just needed the circumstances (abandonment and burglars) to bring it out.
Kevin didn't have any courage at the beginning of the movie. Rather, outside forces (abandonment and burglars) made him develop courage, creating it the way pressure creates a diamond.