To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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How does the trial change Jem and Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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After witnessing racial injustice firsthand, both siblings lose their childhood innocence. However, Jem and Scout react differently after witnessing Tom's wrongful conviction. Jem becomes jaded towards the racist community members of Maycomb. Jem is shocked to learn that his kind and compassionate neighbors are prejudiced individuals. He laments the lack of sympathy and justice in Maycomb and begins to resent the members of his community. In addition to becoming more perceptive and aware of the overt prejudice in Maycomb, Jem becomes more sympathetic towards defenseless individuals. Jem also becomes motivated to change the justice system, which reflects his father's morally upright nature.

In contrast, Scout does not become jaded after witnessing Tom Robinson's wrongful conviction. However, she does become more aware of the overt racism in Maycomb. She also begins to recognize the hypocrisy throughout the community and questions the beliefs of certain citizens. Scout also becomes more...

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