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What evidence of Jem’s increasing maturity does Lee include in chapter 23 of "To...

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kitty006 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted November 11, 2008 at 9:06 AM via web

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What evidence of Jem’s increasing maturity does Lee include in chapter 23 of "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

In chapter 23 Jem shows more signs of maturing. Give evidence from the chapter to prove this point.

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troutmiller | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted November 12, 2008 at 9:28 AM (Answer #1)

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At the end of chapter 23, Jem escorts Scout to her room after Aunt Alexandra calls Walter and his family "trash." Jem tries to explain to her Maycomb's social ladder, and where the Cunninghams fall on it, as well as the Ewells.

Jem also shows physical signs of maturity. He's beginning to grow chest hair, and he shows that to Scout. He also tells her how he's going to go out for the football team, too. These are signs of him becoming a "man."

The final proof of his maturity is when he makes his point in the last lines of the chapter about Boo (Arthur) Radley. He knows how ugly the town/people can be about racism, and he suggests that that may be the reason why Boo chooses NOT to come out. Why be around such awful people if he doesn't have to? That is a big step for Jem. He is now thinking like an adult.

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mlsldy3 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted May 31, 2015 at 7:01 PM (Answer #2)

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In chapter 23 in To Kill a Mockingbird, we see many signs that Jem is maturing. When Aunt Alexandra tells Scout that Walter Cunningham is not welcome there and she can't play with him anymore because he is trash, Scout breaks down in tears. She is angry and sad and doesn't understand why her aunt won't let her play with her friend. Jem quickly gets Scout into his arms and leads her away to his room. He tries to explain things to Scout, but she is still young and doesn't understand the world that Aunt Alexandra is from. Scout is watching Jem as he straightens things on his dresser and she begins to realize the changes in her brother.

His eyebrows were becoming heavier, and I noticed a new slimness about his body. He was growing taller. When he looked around, he must have thought I would start crying again, for he said, "Show you something if you won't tell anybody." I said what. He unbuttoned his shirt, grinning shyly. 

Jem showed Scout his 'hair' that was growing on his chest. Scout thought to herself that she couldn't see it, but she told Jem it was nice. Jem is growing up and growing wiser. He is thoughtful of other people's feelings and is concerned more about Atticus. It is evident how much Jem has grown and matured over the course of the book, and he and Scout are about to grow even more than know.

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