In To Kill a Mockingbird, what does Jem think the verdict will be?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Throughout the trial, there are several moments where Jem comments that he thinks Atticus has won the case. Jem believes that the verdict will find Tom Robinson not guilty of assaulting and raping Mayella Ewell. Jem has faith that his father has presented a compelling argument to prove Tom Robinson's innocence. Jem thinks that Atticus has proven that Bob Ewell had the motivation and capacity to strike his daughter on the right side of her face. Atticus proved that Bob Ewell was left-handed by having him write his signature, which was significant because Tom's left arm was crippled. Jem also takes into consideration the Ewell's conflicting testimonies and lack of evidence. When Scout returns from her visit with Dolphus Raymond outside of the courthouse, she asks Jem what happened, and Jem says, "He's just gone over the evidence...and we're gonna win, Scout. I don't see how we can't" (Lee 124).

In Chapter 21, while the jury is deliberating, Calpurnia walks into the courthouse to tell Atticus that the children are missing. After Cal and Atticus spot the children, Jem and Scout walk down from the balcony to meet them. Scout mentions that Jem is jumping with excitement, and he asks Atticus, "We’ve won, haven’t we?” (Lee 127). Atticus tells him that he has no idea, and the children go home to eat with Calpurnia. They eventually come back to hear the verdict, and right before it is read, Jem says to Reverand Sykes,

"He’s not supposed to lean, Reverend, but don’t fret, we’ve won it...Don’t see how any jury could convict on what we heard—” (Lee 128).

Unfortunately, Atticus loses the case, and Tom becomes a victim of racial injustice. Jem loses his childhood innocence and is emotionally scarred after witnessing Maycomb's ugly prejudice.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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