Why does Jem ask Scout not to do anything to antagonize Aunt Alexandra in To Kill a Mockingbird?After she moves in, she and Scout have many disagreements over being a lady, etc.

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bullgatortail's profile pic

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

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Indeed, Jem is growing up, and he even considers himself an adult when he tells Scout that "It's different with grown folks--we..." Although Scout has not seen the change in Atticus nor the "fussing" between her father and his sister, Jem recognizes that Atticus has been under a great deal of pressure with the upcoming trial of Tom Robinson. He warns Scout not to "antagonize Aunty" because Atticus "has a lot on his mind now, without us worrying him." Scout appears perplexed by the news, and she claims that "Atticus didn't worry about anything." But Jem persisted, telling her that the trial was "worryin' him to death." Jem threatened to "spank" Scout if she didn't heed his advice, and soon the two children were fighting. But the punches felt good to Scout, since because "he was fighting me back... We were still equals."

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linap92's profile pic

linap92 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

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Jem is growing up, and even though he isn't fond of Aunt Alexandria he does not want to see drama. Also, Aunt Alexandria often lectures Atticus about how Scout should act. Jem is probably trying to protect his father.

chubbybunny's profile pic

chubbybunny | eNotes Newbie

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Jem is gradually comprehending maturity as he steps into adolescence. He is gaining the emotional capacity to appreciate the domestic compliance Aunt Alexandra impels into the family and instead of being unappreciative, Jem starts to look into Auntie's tendencies to do good to the family. 

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