As children grow up they face difficult situations. Through these difficult times they learn how to cope and most importantly learn to take responsibility. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the author, Harper Lee, develops the idea that an individual’s perspective can evidently mature and transform when facing prejudicial circumstances. The character Jem Finch demonstrates this idea well as he develops throughout the story.
He starts off as a big companion of Scouts, joining her in their childish games, always being a friend towards her. Jem was a boy who wouldn’t back down from a dare, and didn’t. When he was dared to touch the Radley house, he did just that. Jem is four years Scouts senior, and as time passes in the book, you can see him start to mature. He no longer takes part in the childish games with Scout, he is there more to be her protector, not her friend. Once Atticus takes on the trial, Jem really changes. He submerges himself in Atticus’s work right alongside his father, and Is so hopeful they are going to win the case. In his head they have already won, he knows that him and his father are right, that Tom never did anything wrong. Jem believes in right and wrong, and the justice that comes with it. He is still hopeful like a child, and doesn’t fully grasp the concepts of racism, so when Tom is declared guilty, it shatters Jems hopeful childlike spirit. Something he believed in so strongly,
“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” (Napoleon Hill) Napoleon Hill demonstrates that in times of crisis, people’s ethics change, and they become susceptible to malignant ideas, poisoning their thoughts. In her novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee creates Mrs. Dubose, an old, strong-minded woman who doesn’t mentally destabilize and lose those valuable qualities while fighting an addiction. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Mrs. Dubose doesn’t fall a slave to pressure, and keeps her grumpy personality and appearance, but shifts greatly in her moral compass..
Jem Finch is a three-dimensional character with symbols of success, virtue and an adverse personality in To Kill a Mockingbird. For example, in the beginning of the book, Jem was aggravated by the then taunting Dill Harris (a young visitor to Maycomb) so that Jem would touch the house of Radley. By touching the Radley house, he proved that he was not afraid and could take on any challenge. When such predicaments come Jem's way he will usually be able to make the best of them successfully. In addition, Jem will lash out in complete contempt for a wrong against his moral conscience, such as Mrs. Dubose slinging blasphemy at Jem's father. A good character must have a sense of morality to defend what is believed to be right, and Jem has this emblematic realism. But, a life-like character must have their weaknesses; and he displayed that on account of Mrs. Dubose's harsh words.
Dubose’s rude and unnecessary remarks about Atticus. As Jem and Scout walk home, Jem’s anger takes control of his actions. “... Jem snatched my baton and ran flailing wildly up the steps into Mrs. Dubose’s front yard…. He did not begin to calm down until the ground was littered with dubs and leaves” (Lee 102-103). During the time when Mrs. Dubose repeats prejudice phrases about Atticus, Jem both experiences and witnesses discrimination. He saw Mrs. Dubose hollering about Atticus. He also suffers from discrimination because Mrs. Dubose thought Atticus is in the wrongdoing because he is defending an African American, Tom Robinson. In that period, white people arewere considered superior when compared to African Americans. Therefore, Mrs. Dubose thought that Tom must be guilty because he is an African-American. She thought Atticus shouldn’t defend him because of that. Atticus gave Jem a firm talking to about what he did. He would’ve made Jem read to her due to her addiction. At the end of the chapter, readers see Jem change. Scout witnesses something as Jem went off to bed: “He picked up the camellia, and when I went off to bed, I saw him fingering the wide petals” (Lee 112). Atticus stopped talking; Jem seems to notice how calm Atticus is about the situation. Atticus’s reaction to prejudice changed Jem. He sees his courage and looks deeper into what Atticus is telling him. His
There is one event in particular that causes Jem to doubt the morality of the world as he becomes enraged with life. That moment makes Jem realize how cruel life can be and learns about racism and inequality. Jem starts to cry after finding out Tom Robinson was seen as guilty despite obvious evidence of not doing the crime. Scout narrates that she and Jem “made our way through the cheerful crowd” as Jem mutters “it ain’t right” (Lee 284). This causes Jem to realize how the world has people who are unfair and downright cruel, his enjoyment of life gradually fades and is miserable after leaving the
Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose is an old woman who is ill and battles a morphine addiction. Jem and Scout believe that she is just a mean old lady that talks bad about their father all day but doesn’t know she is fighting a morphine addiction. After Jem finds out the death of Mrs. Dubose and the gift she left him he doesn’t appreciate the perfect camellia and Atticus tells him that it was her way of telling you everything is alright now. “A lady?” Jem raised his head. His face was scarlet. After all those things she said about you, a lady?” “She was, she had her own views about things, a lot different from mine, maybe… son, I told you that if you hadn’t lost your head I’d have made you go read to her. I wanted you to see something about her; I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is man with a gun in his hands” (p.149).This conversation between Atticus and Jem represent how Atticus opens up his mind to see things from other point of view. Atticus is concerned that Jem takes his lesson of courage to heart because he wants Jem to take what he lear...
Although Atticus was not always upfront and obvious with his lessons, he has taught Jem and Scout many valuable life teachings throughout To Kill a Mockingbird. The first lesson he has taught Jem and Scout is the what real courage looks like. After Jem loses his head and destroys Mrs. Dubose’s camellias he is told to go to Mrs. Dubose’s house everyday and read to her for a few hours everyday for a month. Jem ends up actually reading to her for more than a month, which makes him a bit angry. Eventually his job of reading to her is over, and he goes back to his normal schedule. One day Atticus is called to the Dubose house and it is revealed that Mrs. Dubose has died. Atticus is telling his children just how brave Mrs. Dubose was, and that she
This was the start of Jem starting to become fearless. Moreover, Jem find a way to deal with Atticus facing a mad dog, Mrs. Dubose fighting addiction, and Scout’s confrontation with the mob at the jail, all at the same time! Instead of backing down, he accepted this, and moved on. In addition to this, Jem must devote some of his time and efforts to being Scout’s counselor. At the beginning of the story, Jem didn’t want to have anything to do with Scout; often ignoring her at school, and telling her to stay away from him. But later on in the story, he changed. Whenever Scout was feeling depressed, or in trouble, Jem would be there to suppress the situation, and make it better. He would occasionally offer Scout emotional guidance, telling her to do things such as be less defiant and follow orders, or to relax and listen. Also, being that he is her older brother, he must set the model that she must follow. Besides sacrificing his time and efforts to Scout, he also sacrifices himself to Atticus, as he’d rather be personally injured, than to disappoint him and/or see him get
Aforementioned, Jem changes his views in the world as he begins to understand there is depravity and hopes for some morality in the world. The reader is able to see the process of Jem’s maturation and the characteristics he acquires during the progression of the plot. Toward the culmination of the trial, Jem starts to cry. Scout says, “It was Jem’s turn to cry. His face was streaked with angry tears as we made our way towards the cheerful crowd.” (Lee 284). Lee’s use of connotation emphasizes Jem’s anguish at the lost trial. Words like “angry” juxtapose “cheerful”. Angry expresses deep annoyance and displeasure which the reader is able to notice with Scout describing Jem’s actions. Jem realizes that the town villainy has prevailed and weeps at the loss of his hope in Maycomb. Previously, Jem was excited at the prospect of winning. Jem urged Scout, “we’re gonna win...He made it plain and easy as...You could’ve understood it, even”(Lee 270). Jem seemingly believes that Maycomb, an outright racist town, will internalize Atticus’s liberal words and rule in favor of the truth and not prejudice. While some may argue this is naivete, Jem demonstrates a childlike hope that the world does not contain overwhelming hate and injustice. On the other hand, Scout’s character is oblivious to her surroundings. She fails to realize topics that Jem doesn’t explain. For example, “Hey, Mr. Cunningham. How's your
Jem has learned the true meaning of bravery from his father, Atticus, when he had to shoot the mad dog. Atticus was the “best shot” of Maycomb County. He had hit the dog from over a football field away in only one shot. This proved to Jem that sometimes you have to do things that you don’t want to. Another example of when Jem learned the true meaning of courage is when his younger sister stood up to the mob in front of the jail-house. This had shown Jem that things needed to change because his younger sister is more courageous than he is. As he grows older, he begins to do what is right even though his decision may not be popular. For instance, when Dill sneaks into Scout's bedroom after running away from home, Jem can only say, "'You oughta let your mother know where you are"(142) and makes the difficult decision to involve Atticus. This had caused his friends to close their eyes to him for a while. Jem stuck to his gut and did not apologize for his actions. This shows the readers that Jem is no longer an immature kid who is only interested in trespassing and spying on the Radley family. The readers also see signs of maturity from Jem when Miss Gates makes racist comments towards Jem and Scout at the courthouse: “I never wanta hear about that courthouse again, ever, ever, you hear me?”(251). His coping skills are developing and instead of reacting to
People are not always who they seem to be. Mrs. Dubose is an old lady who seems to not care for other people and is very disrespectful. She sits on her front porch and says rude comments about the people who are walking by. One day when Jem and Scout were walking by Mrs. Dubose said a rude comment about their dad. Jem later came back at destroyed her flowers with a baton that he had bought with his birthday money. He was then punished and had to read to Mrs. Dubose. Later on in the book Mrs. Dubose passes away and Jem realizes that she is actually a kind and caring person. Jem came to that conclusion about Mrs. Dubose because she had gave him a flower petal from one of the flowers that he had destroyed. At first Jem thought that she was being
At first, Jem takes part in the Boo Radley game, unaware of the harm he may be doing to people in the Radley house who can hear the children make fun of Boo. Atticus catches Jem once and says "'So that's what you were doing, wasn't it?' 'Makin' fun of him?' 'No," said Atticus, "Putting his life's history on display for the edification of the neighborhood.' Jem seemed to swell a little. 'I didn't say we were doin' that, I didn't say it!' Atticus grinned dryly. 'You just told me,' he said. 'You stop this nonsense right now, every one of you.'" (49). He also chops down Mrs. Dubose's roses. Mrs. Dubose was a rather cranky and offensive old woman who lived nearby. She spoke out harshly against Atticus, and in a fit of rage, Jem attacked her flower bed. As punishment, he had to read to her every day after school. Unknowingly, Jem was
Throughout the book, Atticus teaches the children the good and bad ways to deal with situations, and how to live with positive morals and values. One of the morals he teaches Jem is courage. Atticus compelled Jem to read to Mrs. Dubose for one month; not out of punishment for ruining her flowers, but to teach him courage. Through that experience, Jem not only learned to have courage, but he also learned how to see people from their point of view. Mrs. Dubose was trying to kick her