Loss Of Innocence In To Kill A Mockingbird

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In the book To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee tells the story of coming-of-age and the loss of innocence through the character Jem. Through recurring events, Jem is faced with the realization of society’s injustice, and is left questioning the world he lives in. During a time of rampant racial discrimination and prejudice in the south, Jem transforms from naivety to maturity.
Having grown up in the home of a lawyer, Jem understands the ways of the courtroom and recognizes Atticus’ behavior in court. When Tom Robinson is put on trial for being accused of raping Mayella Ewell, Atticus is appointed his attorney. As questioning continues, Atticus blatantly proves it was impossible for Tom to even commit the crime. Jem says to Reverend Sykes, "...don't fret, we've won it....Don't see how any jury could convict on what we heard" (Lee 279). Jem’s response to Reverend Sykes comment …show more content…

My hand was going down on him when Jem spoke.”
“Jem was scowling. It was probably a part of the stage he was going through, and I wished he would hurry up and get through it. He was certainly never cruel to animals, but I had never known his charity to embrace the insect world. "Why couldn't I mash him?" I asked.
"Because they don't bother you," Jem answered in the darkness (Lee 319-320).
Jem’s compassion towards the roly-poly and his reasoning for disallowing Scout to kill it highlights Jems inner awakening. After witnessing the treatment of Tom Robinson during the trial, how he was persecuted, accused, and attacked for doing no wrong, Jem has clearly grown to reject this brutality, maturing into his new self.
By the end of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem is transformed from a naive, playful child into an aware, mature young adult. The trial changes his worldview; suddenly the people around him are not all righteous and good, and he grows through this. In recurring events, Jem comes of age through social realizations, and emerges into

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