What does Mrs. Dubose teach Scout and Jem?

Although she is a mean, racist neighbor, Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose teaches the children a lesson in courage. As Jem reads aloud to her every day for a month—a punishment for destroying her camellia bushes after she harshly criticizes Atticus—she weans herself from her morphine addiction by refusing her medicine for longer and longer each day. When she dies a month later, Atticus tells Jem that she was “the bravest person [he] ever knew.” The whole episode teaches Jem and Scout that people are not always what they appear to be and that even despicable people can have heroic qualities.