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In chapter 11, Why does Jem destroy Mrs. Dubose' camellia bushes?

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user4357822 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 1, 2013 at 4:33 AM via web

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In chapter 11, Why does Jem destroy Mrs. Dubose' camellia bushes?

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broscover | Student , College Sophomore | Honors

Posted October 1, 2013 at 5:20 AM (Answer #1)

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In To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem destroys the camellia bushes because she is angry with Ms. Duboise for putting down Atticus. She ruins them with Scout's baton.

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writergal06 | Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted October 1, 2013 at 12:11 PM (Answer #2)

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In Chapter 11, Mrs. Dubose makes very harsh and critical comments about Atticus. Jem and Scout have been hearing these comments since the trial started, but up until this point it has been Scout who loses her temper. This time, Jem is the one who reacts. Using Scout's baton, Jem chops Mrs. Dubose's flowers (something she treasures and takes great pride in). For his punishment, Jem has to read to Mrs. Dubose every afternoon. This punishment is fitting as it forces Jem to see why Mrs. Dubose's demeanor is so harsh. Throughout the novel, Atticus encourages his children to not judge others without first understanding why they act a certain why. Reading to Mrs. Dubose gives Jem that insight.

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