In Chapter 25 of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, how does Jem show that he is becoming more compassionate and empathetic?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the beginning of Chapter 25, Scout is playing with a 'roly-poly.' Scout begins poking the small creature and decides that she will smash it. Just before Scout smashes the 'roly-poly,' Jem intervenes and tells Scout not to smash the bug. Scout protests and asks why she couldn't smash it. Jem tells Scout that the 'roly poly' doesn't bother anybody, and she should leave it alone. Scout chastizes Jem and says, "Reckon you're at the stage now where you don't kill flies and mosquitoes now, I reckon." (Lee 320) Scout thinks the Jem is becoming more like a girl every day. In reality, Jem is maturing and becoming more compassionate. Jem shows empathy and compassion for the 'roly poly' by stopping Scout from smashing it. One of the main themes throughout the novel deals with protecting innocent beings. The 'roly poly,' is similar to the mockingbird, which doesn't harm anybody or anything. It would be wrong to kill something that does bother anything. Jem's actions show that he is maturing and recognizes that it would be wrong to harm something that doesn't deserve to be injured.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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