To Kill A Mockingbird: Maturity of Jem

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, Truman Capote Pages: 3 (1188 words) Published: October 20, 2013
Maturation is a long, tedious process, as exciting as it is challenging. Each stage of life poses its own set of unique challenges: the toddler taking his first clumsy steps, slowly progressing towards the capability to walk; the first grader reciting the alphabet with eagerness and pride; the high school student writing, editing, and re-editing countless essays. In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, the character that matures and changes the most of all is Jeremy Finch – or Jem, as he is called for most of the novel. He goes from a juvenile boy to an established young man throughout the course of the novel. By the end of To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem has significantly grown from the childish, playful boy that he was in earlier chapters, to a calmer, more composed and responsible figure, much like his father, Atticus. At the beginning of the novel, Jem has an innocent concept of courage. His idea of bravery is accepting dares imposed upon him. According to his sister Scout, “in all his life, Jem had never declined a dare” (Lee, 16). This exhibits his foolishness rather than his valor, because Jem accepts challenges blindly, and he does not think of the consequences or about his safety when performing a dare. He is also a bit ignorant, thinking he is better than Scout and Dill because he is older than them, and constantly tries to prove it. This complex leads him to commit ridiculous gestures of 'bravery', such as touching the front gates of the Radley house, as he "wanted Dill to know once and for all that he wasn't scared of anything" (Lee, 17). This form of courage is not respected by the adults in Maycomb, which is evident from Atticus’s response when he hears that the children were causing trouble in the Radley's place – he tells Jem to leave the Radley family alone. It is clear that Jem has a vivid imagination, for he has ridiculous perceptions of Boo Radley. According to him, Boo is supposedly "six-and-a-half feet tall", “he dined on raw squirrels and any...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Essay about Maturity of Scout in to Kill a Mockingbird
  • In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Essay
  • To Kill a Mockingbird- Jem Essay
  • Essay about The Loss of Innocence and Maturity in to Kill a Mockingbird
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • To Kill a Mockingbird Essay
  • Analyse the character of Jem from the whole of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free