I came across a quote by Mark Twain. To me, it looks like an article is missing in it. Is the quote correct, if so why?

"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear-not absence of fear."

To me, "courage is a resistance to fear..." sounds natural.


The character Twain was writing about, Pudd'nhead Wilson, is trying to define courage by giving examples of what it is and what it isn't.

Courage IS resistance to fear

Courage IS mastery of fear

But courage IS NOT absence of fear

He goes on to give the example of the flea, a tiny, fragile, creature that lives on creatures that are much bigger and stronger than it is, that could crush it instantly. He says that if this definition of courage were not true then the lowly flea would be the bravest of animals.

So, short answer, 'This is that' does not need an article.

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