Comparing and Contrasting Jem and Scout in "To Kill a Mockingbird"I'm having trouble comparing and contrasting Jem and Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird.  I have to write a 5 paragraph essay...

Comparing and Contrasting Jem and Scout in "To Kill a Mockingbird"

I'm having trouble comparing and contrasting Jem and Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird

I have to write a 5 paragraph essay comparing and contrasting Jem and Scout from "To kill a Mockingbird".

This is really important, if I do it I pass for the year.
If I don't I have to take summer school, again.

Expert Answers
anzio45 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Points of comparison arise from the kind of family life and upbringing that Scout and Jem receive, from the likes of Miss Maudie as well as their father. They are respectful of others, courteous, obedient (most of the time), and they both learn to be tolerant and liberal like their father. Their father's approach to their rearing has allowed them to develop and grow in their own way and with minimum interference from him - some even view Atticus' childrearing as bordering on the irresponsible.

Points of contrast are mostly down to the age difference between them. Jem is on the edge of adolescence and is beginning to understand the adult world in an adult way, while Scout is still struggling to process much of what she is seeing and hearing (sometimes overhearing) and make sense of the world. There are many examples of this but a simple one is their contrasting reactions to the mad dog incident: Scout wants to tell everyone about it but the more mature Jem knows that his father would not like that. Another might be Jem's eventual reaction to Mrs Dubose's 'present' which Scout would not really understand. Jem also is more reflective and perceptive about Boo Radley, Nathan Radley filling in the hole in the tree, and when Dill arrives back so unexpectedly, it is Jem who reports it to Atticus while Scout is still enough of a child to view this as a sort of betrayal. Nearly all of what you say as regards contrast will arise from the fact that Jem is older.

Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You might also find it helpful to visit our page here at eNotes on How to Write a Compare-and-Contrast Essay in Eight Easy Steps. 

Good luck! 




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To Kill a Mockingbird

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