In Chapter 22 of To Kill a Mockingbird, what is the significance of Miss Maudie giving Jem a slice cut from the big cake?

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

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The outcome of the Tom Robinson trial seems to have affected Jem more than Scout or Dill, and he awakes the following morning in a cynical mood. Miss Maudie sees that Jem is upset, so she invites the three children over to house. There on her kitchen table are three cakes--two little ones for the children and a big one for the adults--and Scout wonders why there is not a third piece of cake, thinking Maudie has forgotten about Dill. But Maudie has already planned ahead: The two small cakes are for Dill and Scout, and she cuts a large slice from the big cake for Jem--the first time she has ever done so. It is her way of welcoming Jem into the adult world in the aftermath of his experience at the trial.