To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
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In To Kill A Mockingbird, what is the relationship between Jem and Scout?  

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem and Scout are siblings. They are very close to each other, and Scout admires Jem as a role model who looks out for her.

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Jem and Scout, brother and sister, are close to one another but operate out of a hierarchy based on Jem being older and a boy. For instance, Jem doesn't want Scout hanging around him when she starts school, and Scout has to prove her worthiness to participate in Jem and Dill's masculinized summer games. Scout does her best to emulate her brother's boyish traits, wearing overalls and acting as a tough and scrappy fighter who is not afraid to participate in physically demanding games.

Scout puts up with Jem's mild bullying and know-it-all attitude as an older brother because she admires him and wants to be a part of his life. However, as he enters into adolescence, their relationship becomes more difficult. He is upset and disillusioned by the outcome of the Tom Robinson trial, and he reacts angrily when Scout questions how her teacher can condemn the Nazi treatment of the Jews while supporting the verdict against Robinson. Both Calpurnia and Atticus counsel Scout to give Jem space as he...

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