To Kill A Mockingbird Character Development Essay

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Many literary critiques see the book To Kill A Mockingbird as the story of a child’s growth into mature adulthood life. One of the main themes in the book is the evolution of a person’s beliefs and understanding of the world based on their environment and exposure to intense events. The main characters in the story, Jem and Scout start off as two innocent children and playmates that are curious about Boo Radley, the town’s mysterious recluse. A series of major events, one of them being Tom Robinson’s trial, change the way Jem and Scout think of their town. Although their personalities remain the same, the way they start perceiving the real world puts an end to their childhood. As the novel progresses, Jem and Scout’s characters evolve. This …show more content…
By the end of the story the reader sees him turning into a young adult. He is the older and wiser brother who explains unfamiliar words to Scout and takes care of her. He is the one who obeys their father’s request to avoid fighting. Yet Jem refuses to leave Atticus who is guarding Tom Robinson’s jail cell. “Son, I said go home.” Jem shook his head. This tough conflict situation marks a turning point in Jem’s understanding of social justice and resoluteness to defend the truth. Jem as well as Scout are following the brave example of their own father. Jem and Scout now realize what kind of people some of the citizens of Maycomb actually are. They are disappointed with the injustice and racial prejudices in the world of the adults whom they have trusted incontestably so far. Jem originally thinks that all people in Maycomb are good, and that they all have a similar mindset as Atticus. All ugly events unfolding during and after Tom Robinson’s trial alert Jem’s social conscience and hurt deeply his soul. ““It ain’t right Atticus,” said Jem. “No son, it’s not right.” (Lee, 284). This quote shows Jem’s great disillusionment. After having experienced the harsh reality where an innocent man is convicted of rape and sent to the electric chair by prejudiced racist jury, Jem and Scout’s way of thinking alters. They depart forever from the unworried zone of …show more content…
He beat his fist softly on his knee. “You can’t just convict a man on evidence like that – you can’t.”” (Lee, page 295). At this point in the novel, Atticus and Jem are discussing Maycomb’s inequality between black and white people. Atticus tells Jem that in their courts when it’s a white man’s word against a black man, the white man always wins. Jem is outraged at the people of his town and of how discriminative they are. “Whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.” (Lee, 295). Atticus is explaining to Jem at this point, that if white men that cheat black men in court (convicting them over crimes when they’re actually innocent), it means that they’re trash. What Atticus means by the word “trash” is that they are worthless. Atticus’s honesty and progressive thinking is a great example for his children who gradually get ready to change the ‘regular way of life’ in

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