Justify why Jem Finch is an important character in the story.

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lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jem finch is an important character in To Kill A Mockingbird. He is Scout's playmate in the beginning. Through the novel, Jem matures and learns from troubled times:

Jem (Jeremy) Finch, Scout’s older brother, is a character who shows a lot of growth in the novel. At the beginning of the novel he is a child, playing alongside Scout and Dill in the innocent months of summer. By the end of the novel, he has reached adolescence and has weathered turbulent times.

Jem is a leader throughout the novel. He initiates the games the children play. He grows throughout the novel and loses an interest in the games he had played when younger. He is learning that hatred and bigotry exist in the heart of Maycomb. Jem has been raised to be strong and face life and all its unfairness with courage. Jem is a character who realizes how hurtful prejudices can be. Mrs. Dubose teaches Jem how words can be harmful. Jem has to endure Mrs. Dubose's insults. She makes derogatory remarks about his father. Jem learns how much he loves his father when he is outraged by Mrs. Dubose's comments. 

Jem sits in the courthouse and learns of the unfairness that during Tom Robinson's trial:

During the trial he sees unfairness, bigotry and hatred. He realizes that right does not always triumph. This is traumatic for a child on the brink of becoming an adult. Jem is, though, fortunate to have the gentle guidance of his father to see past the hypocrisy that seems to surround him. His respect for his father develops in the light of the same events which trouble him.

Truly, Jem's respect for his father grows throughout the novel. Jem grows and becomes aware of racial prejudices while learning to become a better human being because of his father's excellent guidance. 

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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