How do Jem and Scout change during the course of the novel? How do they remain the same?

Expert Answers
iscarod119 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jem becomes more mature.  He is still a boy at the end of the book, but he is working his way into manhood.  This is shown through his reaction at the trial of Tom Robinson (he actually cries because of the injustice of the court) and also in the way he doesn't want to play games with his younger sister (who he still sees as a child).  Scout is still a child at the end of the novel, but she is being to see things from a different perspective.  She begins to realize that things aren't always what they appear to be (Boo Radley and Mrs. Dubose are both proof of that).  The above examples could be used in an essay, but if you're talking about the actual structure of an essay I would suggest you set it up like this:

Your introduction would mention your thesis (which would be to prove that Jem and Scout change/remain the same throughout the novel) and then very briefly discuss your three main examples that prove your thesis.  Your body paragraph would discuss these examples in further detail.  For example, you may want to compare and contrast Jem and Scout's reaction to Mrs. Dubose and the lesson that both of them learned from her.  Your conclusion should reiterate what your essay discussed and possibly (depending upon what your teacher is looking for) give your own personal opinion.  The structure of your essay also depends upon the assignment that you were given, but I hope this helps. 

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Throughout the course of the novel, Jem and Scout both mature and gain perspective on the world around them. Both siblings lose their childhood innocence after witnessing racial injustice firsthand and begin to perceive their community of Maycomb differently. Jem becomes jaded with the racist community members and begins to realize the importance of his father's decision to defend Tom. In contrast, Scout does not become jaded with her community but begins to recognize the prevalent prejudice and hypocrisy throughout Maycomb. Both Jem and Scout also become more sympathetic and tolerant towards their neighbors. The siblings also learn that Boo Radley is not a malevolent creature and discover that he is simply a reclusive, compassionate man.

Despite their maturation and moral development, Jem and Scout's personalities remain the same throughout the novel. Jem remains passionate and courageous throughout the entire story. Whether he is giving fantastic descriptions of Boo Radley or arguing about the corrupt justice system with his father, Jem continually demonstrates his passionate nature. Scout remains observant and curious throughout the entire novel. She is constantly asking questions and attempting to understand the world around her.

kadenmcvey | Student

Scout also changes the novel. At the beginning of the novel she would torment Boo Radley and try to get him out of the house. At the end of the novel she says that she was foolish for tormenting Boo Radley when she was little. This shows her growing up a little bit throughout the novel as well.

cristianoswag5 | Student

Jem becomes more mature.  He is still a boy at the end of the book, but he is working his way into manhood.  This is shown through his reaction at the trial of Tom Robinson (he actually cries because of the injustice of the court) and also in the way he doesn't want to play games with his younger sister (who he still sees as a child).  Scout is still a child at the end of the novel, but she is being to see things from a different perspective.  She begins to realize that things aren't always what they appear to be (Boo Radley and Mrs. Dubose are both proof of that).  

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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