To Kill A Mockingbird The Maturing of Jem Finch

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To Kill A Mockingbird The Maturing of Jem Finch Society is not as innocent to a child as it may appear to be. In fact, when one really understands the society in which he lives he is no longer a child. This is much the same case as found in To Kill A Mockingbird, by Leigh Harper. Although Jem, being a child at the beginning of the novel, is immature and unaware of the society in which he lives, he matures mentally to the point where he sees the evil in society and gains a knowledge of death. Like most children, at the beginning of To Kill A Mockingbird Jem and Scout are both young, play together, and have childhood monsters or fears like other children. Primarily, in To Kill A Mockingbird, Jem is young. Scout states their age when it supposedly all starts: "When I was almost six and Jem was almost ten..." (10). Here Jem is only nine years old and therefore still a moderately young child; it is assumed he is therefore immature. Jem also spends his time playing with his five year old sister. This also occurs very early in the novel: "Early one morning as we were beginning our day's play in the back yard, Jem and I heard something next door in Miss Rachel Haverford's collard patch." (11). As the novel progresses, Jem no longer plays with his sister Scout, but he is doing so at this point and he would appear to anyone as one child playing with his sister. Lastly, Jem has childhood fears like most any child does. All children have their fears or monsters. In Jem's case it i rthur Radley, commonly known as Boo: " Let's try and make him come out..." Jem said if he... ... middle of paper ... ...ttacked by the vengeful Bob Ewell: We were nearly to the road when I felt Jem's hand leave me, felt him jerk back- wards to the ground. More scuffling, and there came a dull crunching sound Jem screamed. (265) Here Jem gains an awareness of his own life, his own mortality. These three deaths each had a their own individual effect on Jem, but Jem definitely gained an accomplished knowledge of death. Thus, Jem is a child at the beginning of To Kill A Mockingbird but does mature, gaining a sense of the society surrounding him and a knowledge, or a mature awareness, of death. Jem doesn't gain these mental developements easily but through much struggling, and this is exactly what To Kill A Mockingbird is all about; a struggle with society and learning by placing one's self in another's shoes.

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