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Maturity of Jem; To Kill A Mockingbird


teddybeargirl 1 / 2 1  
Nov 24, 2013   #1
So, I wrote my essay on the theme maturity for Jem in To Kill A Mockingbird. This is what I have so far:
" In Harper Lee's novel To Kill A Mockingbird, there are several characters that mature, or develop, over the course of the book. One of them is Jeremy Atticus Finch, or Jem. At the beginning of the book, Jem is about as childish as Scout, and is often seen playing with her, and Dill. But as Jem grows up and moves into his teenage years he starts to think more openly (putting himself in other's shoes) about others, and is more moralistically courageous. He also begins to show more wisdom [to] and leadership [of] Scout (Jean Louise Finch) and Dill (Charles Baker Harris) when he spends time with them, and they are both younger than him. He also often goes off by himself, for unknown reasons: possibly to figure out who he was. Jem starts to become calmer, more composed, about things. He also becomes a mature figure, much in resemblance to his father (Atticus Finch), who is always calm and collected. Throughout this book, Harper Lee has put together multiple themes, and one of them is the theme of growing up [or maturing], through the development of the character Jem. -Intro

Upon maturity, Jem decided that there were some things that Scout needed to know or do: "Overnight, it seemed, Jem had acquired an alien set of values and was trying to impose them on me: several times he was as far as to tell me what to do." Scout was annoyed at Jem "bossing" her around, but Jem thought it was best for Scout; he thought that she should be more like a girl, when before he matured he used to tease her about "becoming more like a girl everyday". Now he wants her to "start being a girl and acting right". -Body Paragraph 1

So when Dill came out from under Scout's bed, before the trial, Jem's first reaction is "'You oughta let your mother know where you are,' ... Then he rose and broke the remaining code of our childhood." (Pages 187-188) This shows that Jem chooses to do the right thing, even if it's not ideal to Dill and Scout, or angers them. It shows that Jem rationalized and put himself in the situation of his parents, seeing that they were probably worried. It reveals that though telling Atticus was not to Dill and Scout's delight, he mustered the courage and told Atticus of Dill's arrival, because be believed it to best for them. -Body Paragraph 2

Jem matures and realizes the prejudice of Maycomb, convicting Tom only because he was black, on trial against a white man (Atticus: "'when it's a white man's word against a black man's, the white man always wins.'" Page 295) "It was Jem's turn to cry. His face was streaked with angry tears as we made our way through the cheerful crowd. 'It ain't right,' he muttered,". This part shows that Jem understands Maycomb's prejudice, or at least that he can place himself in Tom's situation and understand it. Jem is upset because the Jury convicted Tom, even with all the evidence stack up in his favor. Even thought the Jury stayed out a while, in the end racism always wins. And it seems that Jem really dislikes that they didn't use much common sense, or can't rationalize the truth. -Body Paragraph 3

At first Jem had gotten crazy descriptions of Boo Radley (Arthur Radley). Jem had ridiculous views of Boo before; his actions and appearance. According to Jem Boo was described as "six-and-a-half feet tall ... dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that's why his hands were bloodstained-" (Page 16). In the reality of it, though, Boo contrasted greatly from Jem's ideas; he was actually a caring and kind person. But due to all the prejudice Maycomb had developed over it's time, he was portrayed a monster, and rendered to practically a shut-in. After Jem had begun maturing, he comes to a new thinking of Boo's reason to stay indoors; "'I think I'm to understand why Boo Radley's stay shut up in the house all this time ... it's because he wants to.'" (Page 304) As Jem grows up, his view change because his mind changes; he realizes those things are just prejudice, and what he needs to do is place himself in Boo's shoes, based on the story he has been told. He realizes that Boo could have come out many years ago, but decided to stay inside; probably due to all the prejudice he would face. -Body Paragraph 4

As Jem grows up, he realizes some things, like Maycomb's prejudice and racism, or thinks he know what is best for others. He also places himself in others shoes, not just judging by the outside, but their actions too. -Transition to Conclusion

And now, I have to do the conclusion but the problem is; based on the 'guidelines' for it, I can't figure out what sort of thing to write. The Conclusion prompt guidelines are: "Your conclusion needs to tie up all the ideas you just covered but it must do so in an interesting way. Do not just repeat what you wrote. Instead, use the conclusion to 'push' yourself and your understanding of the theme. This is your final place to show you have proven your theme."

Any one have any ideas on what would make a good conclusion?

XLiaX 1 / 3  
Nov 27, 2013   #2
well the transition to conclusion is good.
to make the conclusion more " interesting " you could probably talk about Jem's maturity relating back to the book as a whole. Always refer back to it like : why does this fit? why did the author choose to include this theme? basically just try to think outside the box with the conclusion. And like the prompt mentions to make sure you proved your theme within the essay .


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