"...just like me." In what ways does Jem resemble his father in chapter 11 of "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

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troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Near the beginning of chapter 11, Jem had lost his temper with Mrs. Dubose and destroyed her prized flowers. When the children must face Mrs. Dubose, they come face to face with a "monster."  Her descriptions alone make Boo appear normal. 

"Her face was the color of a dirty pillowcase, and the corners of her mouth glistened with wet...Old-age liver spots dotted her cheeks, and her pale eyes had black pinpoint pupils.  Her hands were knobby, and the cuticles were grown over her fingernails."

For Jem to appear each day at the same time to read with her must be difficult.  She's scary looking, she's moody, and she's plain mean. Jem must remain polite and read to her each day.  He must provide a good example for Scout as well.  These things take a lot of restraint on his part, and he has to follow his father's example.  Atticus is always polite and calm.  Even when upset, he doesn't lose his temper. Even though Jem slipped up when Mrs. Dubose insulted his family, he maintains control like Atticus would/does.  That is how he is a gentleman, just like Atticus.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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