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How does Jem walk in someone else's shoes in TKAM?I know when Scout does but what are...

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ash2121 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 4, 2012 at 6:10 PM via web

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How does Jem walk in someone else's shoes in TKAM?

I know when Scout does but what are some strong or stand out examples of Jem walking in someone else's shoes.

Thank you.

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted April 4, 2012 at 11:35 PM (Answer #3)

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In chapter 23 of To Kill A Mockingbird, Bob Ewell spits in Atticus Finch's face. When Atticus explains to Jem about his decision to walk away from a fight, Atticus asks Jem to consider how Bob Ewell felt after the trial. In the following quote, Atticus is asking Jem to walk in Bob Ewell's shoes:

"Jem, see if you can stand in Bob Ewell's shoes a minute. I destroyed his last shred of credibility at that trial, if he had any to begin with. The man had to have some kind of comeback, his kind always does. So if spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayella Ewell one extra beating, that's something I'll gladly take. He had to take it out on somebody and I'd rather it be me than that houseful of children out there." 

Chapter 23 
pg 218

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eglenn86 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 23, 2013 at 12:44 PM (Answer #10)

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At the end of chapter 23, Jem and Scout are talking about the different kinds of people in the world. Jem is despairing a little about the condition of humanity, because some people are so unkind (like Bob Ewell). At the end of the chapter he says,

Scout, I think I'm beginning to understand something. I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time . . . it's because he wants to stay inside.

For the first time, Jem is showing some understanding and compassion for the neighbor that he has treated like a monster.

Yes Jem is showing some understanding and compassion for Boo Radley, but it is most certainly not the first time he has done that.  When Jem's pants were mended, and when he found the soap dolls in the tree, Jem realizes that Boo Radley is not the monster he originally thought.  Jem cries when the hole in the tree is filled in because he realizes how lonely and mistreated Boo is by his brother.  Jem also protects Boo Radley from getting in trouble for wrapping Scout in a blanket at the fire by refusing to return the blanket to his house and telling Atticus the truth about all their Boo Radley schemes. 

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mwalter822 | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted April 4, 2012 at 10:04 PM (Answer #2)

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At the end of chapter 23, Jem and Scout are talking about the different kinds of people in the world. Jem is despairing a little about the condition of humanity, because some people are so unkind (like Bob Ewell). At the end of the chapter he says,

Scout, I think I'm beginning to understand something. I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time . . . it's because he wants to stay inside.

For the first time, Jem is showing some understanding and compassion for the neighbor that he has treated like a monster.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 5, 2012 at 12:26 AM (Answer #4)

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Following Atticus's killing of the mad dog in Chapter 10, Jem and Scout see once and for all that their father is neither feeble nor untalented. Jem proudly announces that "Atticus is a gentleman, just like me!"

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 5, 2012 at 2:13 AM (Answer #5)

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The experience with Mrs. Dubose helps Jem learn that people are not always what they seem.  He thinks she is just a mean old lady, until he learns about her morphine addiction and that she is dying.  This ultimately helps him empathize with Tom Robison and Atticus, which is why he cries at the verdict.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:17 PM (Answer #6)

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After the Tom Robinson trial, Jem displays his empathy--walking in Tom's shoes--as he asks his father, "How could they do that?" about the jury's guilty verdict.  He is incredulous that seemingly reasonable men could convict Tom Robinson solely because he is black and made the mistake of saying that he felt sorry for Mayella.

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ammoorah123 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted May 22, 2012 at 6:56 PM (Answer #7)

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jem looks at the situation from toms perspective and and realizes that it isnt his fault. he acted in defence of himself being a black man. it is from this situation that her maturity had sprung.

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vedamarie | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 26, 2012 at 2:49 PM (Answer #9)

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In chapter 14, when Dill randomly makes his way into the Finch home all the way from Meridian, Jem places himself in the shoes of Dill's parents, saying "You oughta let your mother know where you are."

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