After Jem tries to comfort Scout for coming on stage at the wrong time, what does Scout realize about Jem? Why is this significant? Chapter 28

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If this incident had happened at the start of the book, then Jem would've hit the roof. Back then, he was much more immature, and so he would've been less than forgiving of his little sister for falling asleep and ruining the whole pageant. But Jem's grown up considerably over the course of the book and is now starting to resemble Atticus in his equanimity, his ability to put himself into other people's shoes.

Jem knows that Scout didn't meant to fall asleep and so doesn't want her to feel bad about it. It's striking that in this particular incident it's Jem who shows more emotional maturity than Mrs. Merriweather, who insists on making Scout feel two inches tall over what was nothing more than an honest mistake. Here as elsewhere in the book, we learn that maturity and age don't necessarily go together.

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In chapter 28, Scout accidentally falls asleep during the pageant and ends up running onto the stage at the wrong time, during the closing moments of the show. Afterward, Mrs. Merriweather tells Scout that she ruined the entire performance, which makes her feel awful. However, Jem is sympathetic and attempts to comfort Scout backstage by telling her that her costume was barely noticeable. Jem also tells Scout that she did alright and just came onto the stage a little late. After Jem comforts his younger sister, Scout comes to an important realization by saying,

Jem was becoming almost as good as Atticus at making you feel right when things went wrong. (Lee, 262)

Scout's comment is significant because it illustrates Jem's maturation and important moral development. Jem is following in the footsteps of his morally upright father and attempts to protect Scout during Bob Ewell's surprise attack later in the chapter.

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Scout realizes that Jem is really growing up and becoming like Atticus. She also realizes that Jem truly cares about her and does his best to protect her. This knowledge is significant because they are attacked by Bob Ewell after leaving the school. Because Scout knows that Jem has become more mature, she knows to take him seriously, rather than assuming that he might be joking. She is also aware that Jem is doing his best to protect her during his struggle with Jem. In addition, Scout's reaction to Jem's injury may have been more intensely emotional because she was aware of his devotion to her well-being.

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