Jem is just as important of a character as Scout. What realizations has Jem had that Scout has not in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree that Jem is nearly as important a character as Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. Scout is an infinitely better choice of narrator, however, due to her youthful innocence and precocious tomboy antics. In part because he is older and also because he is a male, Jem better understands the problems that Atticus faces during and after the trial. Much of Scout's narration is a kind of play-by-play of events which she does not entirely understand. Jem's maturity helps him to realize before Scout that

  • Boo Radley is not harmful but intent on being their friend;
  • Mrs. Dubose has a soft spot in her heart after all;
  • It's best to appease Aunt Alexandra and not fight with her;
  • The jury has chosen to pay no attention to the facts in the case;
  • Boo "wants to stay inside" because of the town gossip that surrounds him. 
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To Kill a Mockingbird

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