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To Kill A Mockingbird Essay- Jem's Journey to Adulthood


Anna P 1 / -  
May 5, 2013   #1
This is it so far. I haven't finished but I wanted to know if I stayed on topic. Thanks! Please comment ASAP because the three body paragraphs are due tomorrow! (Monday, May 5th, 2013)

The coming of age of Jem, Jeremy Finch, is shown in many ways throughout the book To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. While living in Maycomb County, Alabama, during the Great Depression, the people of the neighborhood have been plagued by the disease: racism. In this prejudiced time in history, Jem, his sister, and their friend Dill go through various different events in the story, many of which demonstrate the way Jem grows up into a young man. Starting from the Radley play, an act Jem and Dill created about the myth of the neighborhood haint, Jem doesn't have a complete grasp over the reasons why the play is offensive to a sly, innocent man. The only thing he worries about then is displeasing his father. Until he finally realizes what it means to have courage, and the truth about Boo Radley, the spook in which the people are scared of, Jem takes twists and turns in his decision-making, even when his father tells him otherwise. Harper Lee has incorporated the theme of maturity into the novel through the development of Jem and the choices he makes about how far he will go to fully mature and understand everything from others' point of views. During the course of the novel, Jem significantly grows from a childish, playful boy that he was from the beginning of the story, to a more calm and mature figure resembling Atticus, his father.

In the beginning, Jem was a kid with an imagination, who loved playing and creating games with Scout and Dill, and didn't think about the results of his actions. But as the book evolved, he became more like a teenager; more self-conscious about who he hung out with, became fully protective of Scout, and lastly he started to understand the world more. Before maturity, Jem had a childish concept of courage. His concept of bravery was through the acceptance of dares asked of him. According to Scout, Jem had "never declined a dare" throughout his entire life (16). This showed his stupidity, instead of his bravery, especially when it was in Jem's nature to "[love] honour before his head", saying that not only does Jem accept dares blindly, he does not think of the consequences of the dare, or about his safety in performing it (16). When he and Scout were to go to school, they would always pass their neighbor Mrs. Dubose's house, a morphine addict and someone who mocked them as they walked by her house. However, soon after her death his father tells him that "[he] wanted [him] to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what" (149). After Mrs. Dubose dies, it is the real breaking point for Jem because it is this point where he truly begins his journey to adulthood.

Throughout Jem's pilgrimage to maturity, he never appreciated his sister and ignored her at school. This changes once he realizes Scout needed more than Atticus as a role model. At Boo's house, there was an ancient tree in which had a knot-hole in it. Once in awhile, little objects would mysteriously appear inside the hole, those of which Jem and Scout enjoyed discovering. One day, "someone had filled our knot-hole with cement. "Don't you cry, now, Scout . . . don't cry now, don't you worry-" he muttered at me all the way to school" (83). He finally shows compassion towards Scout and their relationship becomes more and more beautiful as time passes. After this, Jem feels as if he should take full responsibility for Scout's actions, especially when Atticus is busy with a court case for a fellow Black citizen whom was charged for raping a white girl. This girl, Mayella Ewell, who lies during the trial, had played along with her father, Bob Ewell, who despised Atticus for agreeing to defend a black. Also, his consciousness towards Atticus is shown when he Scout not to bother Atticus with disciplinary issues because "[it's] [the] Tom Robinson case [is] worryin' him to death" (184). In addition, he also decided that he and Scout ought to "allow Atticus thirty minutes to himself after supper" (180). These quotes show that Jem is able to put himself into the shoes of Atticus and understands that Atticus needs the time and space to ponder about the troubling Tom Robinson case he has in his hands.
dumi 1 / 6,927 1592  
May 13, 2013   #2
The coming of age of Jem, Jeremy Finch, is shown in many ways throughout the book, " To Kill A Mockingbird " by Harper Lee.

....pay attention to punctuation

the people of the neighborhood have been plagued by the disease:disease of racism.

In this prejudiced time in history, Jem, his sister, and their friend Dill go through various different events in the story, many of which demonstrate the way Jem grows up into a young man.

In this time of history in which prejudice had its dominance, Jem together with his sister and friend Dill go through various hardships, many of which demonstrate how Jem grows up into a young man.

In the beginning, Jem was a kid with an imagination, who loved playing and creating games with Scout and Dill, and didn't think about the results of his actions.

.... and was not much concerned about the outcome of his actions.


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