To Kill A Mockingbird The Maturing of Jem Finch Essay

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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



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,
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When he said that I knew he was afraid. (17-18)


Often, during his first summer with Dill, Jem talks of Boo and his

house much like a child discusses a haunted house. Primarily it is assumed

that Jem is a child due to three main points that come across; Jem is

young, plays with his little sister, and has childhood monsters. However,

as the novel progresses so does Jem to the point where he matures mentally

enough to see the evil in the society around him. Jem's awareness of the

society in which he lives can first be noted when his father accepts the

case of a black man and others begin to talk of him rather rudely:


" Have they been at it?" I (Scout) asked.

" Sort of. She won't let him alone about Tom Robinson. She almost said

Atticus was disgracing the family. Scout... I'm scared." (149)


Here Jem gains his first taste of fear from his society in which his

own aunt was getting cross at his father for defending a black man. When

Mr. Robinson is pronounced guilty by a white jury things only heat up for

Jem: "It was Jem's turn to cry. His face was streaked with angry tears as

we made our way through the cheerful crowd." (214). Jem grows so angry and

frustrated with the justice system and society in general that he becomes

overwhelmed at

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