The Growth and Development of Jem Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird Essay Example

Taking on the dare, doing activities illicitly? Are these things that a responsible human being would do? The novel To Kill a Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee, takes place in a town named Maycomb, Alabama. Jem Finch, the older brother of Scout Finch, shifts from childhood to adulthood. For instance, Jem learns from his mistakes when Dill dares him to go up to Boo Radley’s house and touch it. He accepts the dare and learns from his consequences. In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem Finch comes to a recognition of his early on childish choices and is finally growing into a responsible adult.

Going back to Jem and his becoming as an adult, Jem is dared by another important character named Dill. Dill challenges Jem to go up to Boo Radley’s house and touch it. It is indeed a very childish thing to do, although Jem takes on the dare and does it anyway. Jem has a very immature nature. Such as when Jem was talking about Boo Radley and his imagination of him, “Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that’s why his hands were bloodstained—if you ate an animal raw, you could never…” This entirely shows Jem’s juvenile temperament. In this quote, Jem is showing his widespread imagination. As for Jem and his younger sister Scout, they both believe these astonishing things about Mr. Radley. As young kids, obviously they would have imaginations. Although, as Jem gets older, he continues to believe and make up these mythical things towards Boo Radley while he comes to an awareness of what is and is not mature. 

Now that Jem is growing up, he tends to get into less trouble. Although he does not fully understand what impact his actions had on himself and other people. He is understanding how to become accountable for his actions. On a few occasions, Atticus and Jem get into arguments about Jem’s matureness. For instance, when Jem demolishes Mrs. Dubose’s camellia bushes, Atticus decides to punish Jem by reading to her daily as long as he wishes him to. Mrs. Dubose is unpleasant towards the children and at times can be called a racist. As well as criticizing Atticus for defending Tom Robinson. When Mrs. Dubose dies, Atticus expresses “I wanted you to see what real courage is…” This is referring to when the kids found about about Mrs. Dubose’s death caused by her morphine addiction. All Atticus wants is to see Jem advance into a responsible, mature grown man.

The predominant complication of Jem is essentially him taking on Dill’s dare. Jem just about knew that Dill was trying to provoke him and pressure him into touching the Radley house. Despite the fact that Jem undeniably touched the Radley house, he touches it in order to not be accused of lacking courage and manliness. Jem wanted to impress him by being tough. From Dill’s standpoint, it almost seems as if Jem was scared or maybe even a coward. Jem then confirms that he additionally has his sister to protect. While standing outside the Radley house, Dill says to Jem, “I won’t sa you ran out on a dare an’ I’ll swap you The Gray Ghost if you don’t just go up and touch the house.” “Go on, it ain’t far inside the gate. Why, you even touched the house once, remember?” This is a perfect exemplification of Dill pressuring Jem to touch the Radley house to prove he is not a scaredy cat. 

Jem realizes that he had been peer pressured by Dill to go up and touch the Radley house. He now has an understanding of what Dill was trying to achieve. Dill runs away from home because he believes that his parents are not paying enough attention to him. He ends up escaping on a train fourteen miles away from home, and continued on in a cotton wagon. This demonstrates how Dill can be a little bit of a hypocrite. He dares Jem to touch the Radley house, while Jem ends up taking the dare, and Dill runs away from home. Though he is the one who bashes Jem for being scared and immature, Dill runs away from home which is a very babyish thing to do. Both Jem and Dill’s actions are certainly chilish. Dill feels at home in Maycomb because he had built good friendships with Scout and Jem, while he also feels like Atticus is like the father he never had. When Jem tells Atticus that Dill ran away, this breaks their friendship code that consists of not “ratting out” each other.

Throughout Jem’s childhood, he learns to understand many adult situations as well as learning from his mistakes. For instance, when Jem find Scout and Dill underneath the bed in the middle of the night, his first instinct is to tell one a Dill’s parents. This is a very adult-like thing to do on Jem’s part. Jem continues to prove that he can indicate and analyze the situation by having empathy. By Jem doing the right thing and telling one of Dill’s parents, this is teaching himself to learn from his mistakes and a more mature person. On the other hand, Jem is in some hot water because he “broke the remaining code of childhood”. An additional example would be Jem’s fairytale-like imaginations of Boo Radley. In actuality, Boo was the one making assumptions of Jem, not just Jem making assumptions about Mr. Boo Radley. As a matter of fact, Boo is a truly kind-hearted human being, but due to the preconceptions made of him by the town of Maycomb, he was portrayed as a monster.

Jem is becoming more aware of others feelings, treats others with respect, and is now able to understand how Atticus might be feeling about the trial. Atticus wanted Jem, as well as Scout, to stay home and not go to the trial. In spite of the fact that Atticus made it very clear that they may not attend the trial, they decide to sneak in anyways. In spite of their callowness behavior, this causes them to arrive late and sit in the African American section.”The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box”. During the trial Mayella had stated that father had saw her with a white man rather than a black man, the trial would have gone especially different. This is showing a long lasting change in Jem because he has developed a more sophisticated way of thinking. 

Overall, it might be said that Jem was abundantly unsophisticated. Although Jem acquires the knowledge of what factors go into becoming a mature, young adult. Of course Jem was not born just knowing what is right and wrong, he has to learn from his past mistakes in order to redeem those abilities. Jem goes through a lot during this time, and that might be linked to all of the emotions and actions that Jem continues to show. Throughout the novel,  Jem Finch comes to a recognition of his early on childish choices and is finally growing into a responsible adult



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