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Why is Scout pleased when Jem fights her back? Why is she less pleased when he tells...

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nerazzurro | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted December 5, 2008 at 10:31 PM via web

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Why is Scout pleased when Jem fights her back? Why is she less pleased when he tells Atticus about Dill?

please do not answer too shortly or too long....

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katemschultz | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted December 6, 2008 at 3:02 AM (Answer #1)

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As much as "To Kill a Mockingbird" is about Scout, Jem's maturity plays a large role in the book as well. Scout gets concerned when she sees Jem involved in adult-like behavior--she thinks something is wrong with him. When Jem fights her back, Scout is pleased to know that Jem is still acting childish.

However, Scout tells the readers that Jem breaks the final code of childhood when he reports to Atticus that Dill has run away and admonishes Dill for worrying his parents. A year prior, Jem probably would have made a game out of Dill running away and not told Atticus. However, Jem's maturity requires him to speak up, and it angers Scout because she thinks Atticus will get mad and Dill will have to go home. She wants Jem to be on their side--not on the side of the adults.

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