Describe Jem and Scout's behavior at the jailhouse in To Kill a Mockingbird. Describe Jem's behavior when he confronts Atticus at the jailhouse and also meets a mob of hostile men. Then describe...

Describe Jem and Scout's behavior at the jailhouse in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Describe Jem's behavior when he confronts Atticus at the jailhouse and also meets a mob of hostile men. Then describe Scout's behavior in the setting mentioned above.

2 Answers

bullgatortail's profile pic

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

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Jem's maturity seems to give him an advantage over Scout in this particular situation. Jem senses that something is wrong, and that Atticus may be in some danger. Scout, however, doesn't seem to have a clue about why the lynch-minded group of Maycomb citizens have congregated. Jem defiantly refuses to leave his father despite Atticus' insistence. Scout, meanwhile, kicks one of the men--not as an act of protecting Atticus but because the man has attempted to move her out of the way. Both of the children recognize some of the men as neighbors and townspeople, but neither seem to understand their true motives. Jem only realizes that something is not right, and when he sees the normally unflappable Atticus in a nervous state, he knows that he must remain. Of course, it is Scout's naive conversation with Mr. Cunningham that saves the day, shaming the men into leaving rather than display violence before the innocent children.

gmuss25's profile pic

gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

As was mentioned in the previous post, Jem displays his maturity by refusing to leave his father in a dangerous situation while Scout naively attempts to have a conversation with the leader of the lynch mob. Scout can no longer contain her curiosity and runs out of her hiding spot to see Atticus. Unlike Jem, Scout has no idea that the men surrounding Atticus are attempting to harm Tom Robinson and tries to get the attention of Mr. Cunningham. After Jem follows his sister out of hiding, Atticus tells him to go home. Jem defies his father and demonstrates his courage and loyalty by refusing to leave. Even after Jem is threatened by one of the men from Old Sarum he refuses to abandon his father. Jem fully understands the gravity of the situation while Scout is oblivious to the immediate danger. Fortunately, Mr. Cunningham is able to perceive the situation from Atticus' point of view and instructs his men to leave the scene. 

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