What did Jem learn from his encounter with Mrs. Dubose in "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

Expert Answers
dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

From his encounter with Mrs. Dubose, Jem learns that there is more to people than just what they show on the surface.  He also learns the value of self-control.  Mrs. Dubose is rude and cantankerous, cruel to the children and openly and vehemently critical of Atticus's defense of Tom Robinson.  Jem hates her, and destroys her flowers in retaliation of her treatment of him and his family.  When Atticus punishes Jem by making him read to Mrs. Dubose every day for a given period of time, Jem must discipline himself, bite his tongue, and be civil to the old lady.  By learning to control his impulses and show kindness even though he may not necessarily feel it, Jem takes a giant step towards adulthood.  He also discovers that Mrs. Dubose is in reality a woman of extreme courage, and he comes to respect her determined strength.  Mrs. Dubose is battling morphine addiction, and facing the challenge with tremendous bravery and tenacious will power.  

kirbyepicyarn | Student

From his encounter with Mrs. Dubose, Jem learns that there is more to people than just what they show on the surface.  He also learns the value of self-control.  Mrs. Dubose is rude and cantankerous, cruel to the children and openly and vehemently critical of Atticus's defense of Tom Robinson.  Jem hates her, and destroys her flowers in retaliation of her treatment of him and his family.  When Atticus punishes Jem by making him read to Mrs. Dubose every day for a given period of time, Jem must discipline himself, bite his tongue, and be civil to the old lady.  By learning to control his impulses and show kindness even though he may not necessarily feel it, Jem takes a giant step towards adulthood.  He also discovers that Mrs. Dubose is in reality a woman of extreme courage, and he comes to respect her determined strength.  Mrs. Dubose is battling morphine addiction, and facing the challenge with tremendous bravery and tenacious will power.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question