Provide three examples of Jem showing maturity in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Three examples of Jem showing maturity in To Kill a Mockingbird are when he refuses to leave Atticus with the lynch mob, when he invites Walter Cunningham to their house for lunch, and when he protects Scout from Bob Ewell's attack.

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Jem demonstrates maturity in chapter 15 when a lynch mob surrounds Atticus outside of the Maycomb jailhouse. After Scout runs into the middle of the group of men, Atticus instructs Jem to take her and Dill home. However, Jem recognizes the gravity of the situation and refuses to leave his...

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Jem demonstrates maturity in chapter 15 when a lynch mob surrounds Atticus outside of the Maycomb jailhouse. After Scout runs into the middle of the group of men, Atticus instructs Jem to take her and Dill home. However, Jem recognizes the gravity of the situation and refuses to leave his father's side. Jem's disobedience demonstrates his loyalty and courage. Jem is determined to remain by his father's side during the threatening situation, which is an extremely mature, courageous decision. Fortunately, Walter Cunningham tells the lynch mob to disband and nobody is harmed.

Jem also demonstrates maturity in chapter 23 by preventing Scout from arguing with Aunt Alexandra and getting into trouble. Scout becomes furious when Aunt Alexandra calls Walter Cunningham Jr. trash and is about to retialiate when Jem intervenes. Scout mentions,

I don’t know what I would have done, but Jem stopped me. He caught me by the shoulders, put his arm around me, and led me sobbing in fury to his bedroom. Atticus heard us and poked his head around the door. “‘s all right, sir,” Jem said gruffly, “’s not anything.” Atticus went away. “Have a chew, Scout.” Jem dug into his pocket and extracted a Tootsie Roll. (Lee, 229)

Jem's actions reveal that he has gained sympathy and perspective. He is also developing into an understanding, comforting individual like his father and knows how to calm his sister down when she is upset.

Jem once again demonstrates maturity in chapter 28 by comforting Scout after Mrs. Merriweather makes her feel bad about coming onto the stage late during the pageant. After the pageant, Mrs. Merriweather chastises Scout and accuses her of ruining the show. Fortunately, Jem is there to console Scout and make her feel better. Scout mentions,

She made me feel awful, but when Jem came to fetch me he was sympathetic. He said he couldn’t see my costume much from where he was sitting. How he could tell I was feeling bad under my costume I don’t know, but he said I did all right, I just came in a little late, that was all. Jem was becoming almost as good as Atticus at making you feel right when things went wrong. Almost—not even Jem could make me go through that crowd, and he consented to wait backstage with me until the audience left. (Lee, 262)

Jem demonstrates maturity by offering Scout words of encouragement, downplaying her mistake, and waiting with her backstage until the audience leaves.

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Jem Finch matures during To Kill a Mockingbird  by Harper Lee.  When the story begins, Jem is ten years old and beginning puberty.  During the novel, Jem slowly develops the insight to understand many of the adult situations that his family faces. 

In the beginning of the story, Jem enjoys the childish games of fantasizing about Boo Radley.  Scout tells the reader that Jem becomes more and more moody as the story progresses.  He thinks more; he shows more compassion; and he is appalled by the prejudice that rears its ugly head in his hometown.  As incidents become more sinister, Jem begins to make decisions which separate him from the younger Scout and Dill.

Jem shows maturity:

1st

On Scout’s first day of school, she runs into trouble with the new teacher Miss Caroline.  Scout takes the responsibility of informing the teacher that she has made a mistake with Walter Cunningham when he does not have lunch money.  The teacher offers to loan him some money. Scout tells her that Walter will not take the money because he cannot pay it back. Miss Caroline punishes Scout.

Because she receives a punishment, Scout knocks Walter down on the playground and begins to pummel him.  Jem intervenes and stops the fight.  Having heard Atticus talk about how the Cunninghams do not have money but always pay their debts in some way, Jem understands that Walter cannot help his family situation.   He also knows that instead of fighting with him that he should be treated with respect.  Jem invites Walter home to share their lunch since he does not have anything to eat.

2nd

Jem’s change in attitude toward Boo Radley portrays his movement toward maturity.  When Boo begins to leave items in the hole in the tree, the children do not understand who left them.  Slowly, Jem realizes that it is Boo’s way of communicating with them. Boo carves the children in wood; then, he mends Jem’s pants when he tears them.  Miss Maudie’s house catches fire and during the excitement, Boo places a blanket around the shoulders of Scout. 

Jem understands that Boo is not a dangerous character but someone who wants to befriend the children.  Boo’s father cements the hole in the tree which was the connection between Boo and the children. Nathan Radley lies to the children and tells them that he did it because the tree is dying.  Jem realizes that Boo’s father did it because he did not want Boo to be able to put things in the tree and communicate with the children. 

“…Mr. Nathan put cement in the tree, Atticus, and he did it to stop us findin’ things---he’s [Boo] crazy, I reckon, like they say, but Atticus I swear to God he ain’t ever harmed us, he coulda cut my throat from ear to ear that night but he tried to mend my pants instead---he ain’t ever hurt us, Atticus---“

Jem finally knows that Boo is watching them and does not want to hurt them.

3rd

The night of the pageant Jem demonstrates his responsibility for his sister when he tries to protect her from the unknown assailant [Bob Ewell].  Standing up to the older man, Jem’s arm is broken during the scuffle.   Eventually, both children are saved by Boo; however, Jem’s shows that despite his fear he will shield his sister from harm.  

In the end, Jem’s behavior man reflects his father’s parenting and training of his children.  On this night, Jem emerges as a mature adolescent who will become a fine young man.

 

 

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