In Chapter 8, it snows for the first time since 1885 in Maycomb. Scout and Jem erect a snowman made mostly of dirt. It is the first snowman they have ever made and it strangely resembles Mr. Avery. The children are excited to show Atticus their creation. When Atticus sees the snowman he says they did a “jim-dandy job.” Atticus directly compliments Jem by saying,
“I didn’t know how you were going to do it… but from now on I’ll never worry about what’ll become of you, son, you’ll always have an idea.”
Jem is ecstatic with his father’s compliment because his “ears reddened” when he is given Atticus’ approval. Jem looks up to Atticus throughout the novel and is constantly telling Scout that he is a “gentleman” just like Atticus. As is the case with many young males, their fathers are typically their first role models. This suggests that Jem and Atticus have a loving relationship which is confirmed by Jem’s adoration for his father. Atticus displays his kind nature by complementing Jem on his achievements, and Jem is proud after receiving his father’s compliment.