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Jem demonstrates ingenuity in a number of ways. In one instance, he uses his wits to realize Atticus is going on a mission. The event occurs after Atticus has agreed to defend Tom Robinson, a black man, accused of raping a white woman in the segregated south during the Depression. Although Atticus regularly walks around town on business, he changes his behavior one notable evening. He tells his children he is going out and will not return until they are in bed. He takes an extension cord and drives away. Jem realizes this is a moment of import so he readies himself at nearly 10 p.m. to go to town. Scout insists on accompanying him. “ ‘I’ve got this feeling,’ Jem said, ‘just this feeling.’” His instincts are right. Atticus is standing guard outside the jail holding Tom when a lynch mob arrives. Jem refuses to his leave his father’s side until the crowd finally disperses.
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