In To Kill A Mockingbird, chapter 7, what does Jem's reticence to cry in front of Scout foreshadow?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In Chapter 7 of To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem struggles with his emotions because he is first greatly moved by the secret kindness of Boo Radley, who has mended his pants the night that he sneaked onto the Radley porch, then later, after Boo began leaving little gifts for the children, Jem is greatly disturbed when Nathan Radley cruelly cements the knot hole so that Boo can no longer have contact with the outside world.

Jem said nothing more about it until late afternoon. Wen we passed our tree he gave it a meditative pat on its cement, and remained deep in thought.

This distress of Jem's at the gratuitous cruelty of Nathan Radley foreshadows his equal disappointment and sorrow over the unsubstantiated cruelty exhibited in the courtroom at the Tom Robinson trial as well as Dill's emotional outburst. In Chapter 22, "It was Jem's turn to cry. His face was streaked with angry tears as we made our way through the cheerful crowd."It ain't right," he muttered, all the way to the corner...."

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