Homework Help

In "To Kill a Mockingbird", why is Jem so nervous when a group of men come to...

user profile pic

bux | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 12, 2008 at 9:43 PM via web

dislike -1 like

In "To Kill a Mockingbird", why is Jem so nervous when a group of men come to the Finch residence?

It is in chapter 15

5 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 13, 2008 at 12:44 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

Jem is nervous because he thinks they are going to hurt Atticus. These men are upset about Atticus defending Tom, and he's afraid the discussion will turn violent.

user profile pic

jetstmj | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 13, 2008 at 11:23 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

He is concerned about the welfare of his father, Atticus. A group of men will not necessarily listen to reason for Jem is of an age when he can understand that they would let their anger get the best of them. Atticus has put himself in a vulnerable position by choosing to defend Tom Robinson.

user profile pic

jon0111 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 13, 2008 at 2:37 PM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

Jem shows tremendous insight here and demonstrates his continual maturity. He understands that the group represents danger when his sister and father fail to appreciate this--Scout because she maintains a childish innocence and Atticus because he, perhaps too innocently, believes that the people of his town will ultimately behave appropriately. Just as Atticus brushes aside Bob Ewell's threats later in the novel, he seems to underestimate this threat at his very door.

This is an excellent example of the difference in perception and understanding between Scout and Jem as they grow. Jem, who has begun asserting himself as Scout's elder, is in a position of understanding the adult world and what will take place later in front of the jail. Scout, thankfully as it turns out, lacks this understanding of the ugly side of Maycomb.

user profile pic

hrrippetoe | High School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted August 14, 2008 at 7:36 PM (Answer #4)

dislike 0 like

He feels that a gang has come to hurt Atticus because he is defending Tom Robinson.  Jem worries about Atticus doing this trial.  He also knows the townspeople aren't happy about Atticus doing a thorough job of defending Tom.

user profile pic

redsoxfan324234534 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 5, 2008 at 11:16 AM (Answer #5)

dislike 0 like

Yeah ^^ What they said is pretty much all the same thing, so I hope ya got ya answer :P

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes