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.