Homework Help

In To Kill a Mockingbird, what did Jem do that made Scout say "he broke the remaining...

user profile pic

xxmaine | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 26, 2007 at 12:39 PM via web

dislike 3 like

In To Kill a Mockingbird, what did Jem do that made Scout say "he broke the remaining code of our childhood?"

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

renelane | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted November 26, 2007 at 7:08 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

Jem breaks the code of childhood by acting responsibly. Dill had run away from home, and was hiding under Scout's bed. She goes to get Jem and when he discovers Dill, he knows that it is not something he can keep a secret.He shocks Scout by going and telling his father what had happened.

This is a another example of Jem's maturity. Scout did not think to run and get her father, but Jem knew it was what he had to do.

Dill ran away because he felt he was not getting enough attention, and Jem realizes that she would nonetheless be worried sick. He has grown past the childish ideas of running away from home to solve you problems.

user profile pic

kipling2448 | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 10, 2014 at 6:04 PM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

In Chapter 14 of Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Dill has run away from home and taken refuge under Scout's bed, where he hid for two hours.  Jem, clearly understanding the gravity of the situation, insists that Dill's mother ought to informed of her son's whereabouts despite Dill's obvious pleasure in the thought of people back home searching for him.  It is then that Scout comments on Jem's decision to inform Atticus of this new development:

Dill’s eyes flickered at Jem, and Jem looked at the floor. Then he rose and broke
the remaining code of our childhood. He went out of the room and down the hall.
“Atticus,” his voice was distant, “can you come here a minute, sir?”

Scout is aghast that her brother would violate this childhood 'code of conduct' that precluded the provision of sensitive information to adults, especially information regarding their own conduct and that of Dill, their closest friend.  The episode, however, serves to illuminate the degree to which Jem has matured emotionally and is ready to make that transition towards adulthood.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes