Growing Up To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee

682 Words2 Pages
Do people ever really grow up? In all sincerity, do they ever truly grow up, or do they only grow older. Nonetheless, it is a very difficult task, growing up. Most of the time, no one ever really wants to until they are absolutely forced to. Well, that is what happened to Jem Finch. Who is Jem Finch? He is a very prominent character in a very prominent book: To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. Harper Lee does an exemplary job of displaying different character dynamics, like growing up (of course), through many of her younger characters, and especially through Jem Finch; although one may argue he seemed to change at a rather exaggerated pace in the book, it is quite evident that he still managed to display tremendous changes in his levels of maturity, acceptance, and responsibility.
Jem matured enormously and in various ways throughout To Kill a Mockingbird. Before his change, he was obviously the exact opposite: immature. He was inconsiderate, and he constantly made fun of his little sister, even though he loved her very much. When Jem, Dill, and Scout were going to sneak into the Radley’s yard and Scout was frightened, his reaction was anything but comforting: “Scout, I’m tellin’ you for the last time, shut your trap or go home––I declare to the Lord you’re gettin’ more like a girl every day!” (58). Later on in the book, however, he learns to be compassionate and empathic when others are feeling troubled. When Aunt Alexandra and Scout are having another one of their recurring rows, this time about Walter Cunningham. Aunt Alexandra had deeply upset Scout so, instead of just watching both sides’ anger play out from the sidelines, Jem took into consideration what may happen if things became extremely unpleasant and he made sure t...

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...the noses of all first-time readers.
This substantial change, however, still requires an advancement in one more area: responsibility. Someone can be as mature and accepting as they want, but they can never truly grow as a person if they do not learn how to be a responsible person. In Jem’s case, he had many areas in which he needed to improve how responsible he was, one of which being the way he treated his sister. Anyone who has a younger sibling, or even an older sibling, knows the simple fact that being an older sibling comes with automatic responsibility. In the beginning of the book, however, Jem was seriously neglecting his inevitable obligations as an older brother, and tended to disregard the well-being of his sister if it even slightly impeded his plans for popularity.

Works Cited

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: HarperCollins, 2002. Print.
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