To Kill A Mockingbird Jem Finch Essay

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To Kill A Mockingbird: Jem Finch Essay, Research Paper Harper Lee?s character Jem (Jeremy) Finch from her famous novel, To Kill A Mockingbird is very interesting because during the course of the novel, he undergoes a great maturation process, through which he comes to understand all the events which are occurring around him. There are many such events which affect this maturation process, and causes it to speed up. All these events can assembled into three groups; those which are directly related to his father?s (Atticus) trial to defend a black man in a very racist community in the 1930?s, the events which are not directly related to the trial, and the group which is a combination of both groups and all the events in the novel. When To Kill A Mockingbird begins, Jem is ten

years old, at the end of the novel he is 13 years old. He doesn?t learn about Atticus? assignment until it becomes apparent that Atticus is acting differently due to it. There was a great deal of stress on Atticus during the whole course of the trial. partly from it being such a hard case to win, partly from Bob Ewell?s harassment, and partly from Jem and Scout being in danger. Bits of these reasons were reflected onto Jem, and he became very concerned for the safety of his father. However, he doesn?t quite know how to deal with it, so he tries to take control and help Atticus along by advising his younger sister, Scout what to do or what not to do, and to cheer her up when she is sad. He is faced with new problems he never even knew existed in his home town, such as racism and

discrimination. Racism is abundant in Maycomb, however Jem never thought about it until now. As a child he could not grasp the concept of black people being not as well respected as whites. Since there was absolutely no racism coming from Atticus, and he having Calpurnia working at his house most of the time, he could not understand why some people hated blacks. When Jem is faced with the racism of Maycomb, he does not understand partly due to the reason that Calpurnia is working for them and they are very close to her. He does not see what is wrong with her being black. When Cal takes them to her church, Jem is faces with more racism, this time coming from Lula, a black woman. Cal and Lula both call each other ?niggers? and this is a new kind of racism for Jem. They meet

Reverend Sykes for a brief moment at the church and he and Zeebo are very considerate to Jem and Scout. Jem also meets the at the trial and sits with them in the black section in the balcony. During the actual trial, Jem is very aware of what is going on, for it was said, ?Jem seemed to be having a quiet fit, he was pounding the balcony rail softly, and once whispered, ?We?ve got him.?(Lee 180). This statement is fairly important, for it shows how Jem is able to grasp all the information, from what Atticus is trying to do and why he is doing it. When he whispered ?We?ve got him.? he used ?we? and he was referring to himself and Atticus. They could have had a discussion about the trial beforehand, and Atticus told Jem what his plans were, or Jem was so immersed in the trial he

felt as if he and Atticus were both doing it together. He is following the trial very closely, and when the verdict came in guilty Jem was gripping the rail so hard where he was sitting that his fists were turning white. This description show the anger and rage inside Jem at that moment, for he knows all the evidence is in favor of Tom Robinson being innocent. These events to do with the trial contributed to Jem?s maturation, however there are many other significant events which are not related to the trial. Jem is faced with new responsibility whenever Dill is around him and Scout. He feels he must maintain his superiority without anyone noticing, for he is the oldest. When Scout starts school, he tells her not to talk to him or hang around him, for he is learning what effects