What evidence in chapters 12–14 of To Kill a Mockingbird shows that Jem is starting to grow up and is beginning to identify with the adult world? Please explain, be specific, and include examples.

Evidence that shows Jem beginning to grow up and identify with the adult world in chapters 12–14 of To Kill a Mockingbird includes his new tendency to act as if he is superior to Scout and to refer to himself as a "grown up." Scout reacts negatively to his "maddening air of wisdom," his new moodiness, and his more overbearing attempts to boss her around.

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Jem begins to enter adolescence during these chapters and to view the world through a different and more complicated set of lenses than before. It is an awkward time of life for him, and Jem manages to alienate Scout by suddenly acting as if he is an adult or parent and she a child in need of instruction. She grows so angry with "his maddening air of wisdom" and references to himself as a "grown up" that they get into a fist fight. Scout then says to Atticus,

He was tryin’ to tell me what to do. I don’t have to mind him now, do I?

Atticus, who knows that Scout is feisty and will always stand up for herself, tells her that Jem has no authority over her: she only has to listen if he can make her do so, which Atticus knows is very unlikely.

Things come to a head when Jem lashes out at her when Scout tries to talk to him about the hypocrisy of her teacher, Miss Gates, in condemning Nazi treatment of the Jews while condoning Maycomb's treatment of Tom Robinson. Scout crawls into Atticus' lap, and he tells her,

don’t let Jem get you down. He’s having a rough time these days.

Jem has always bossed Scout around and told her what's what, but from the perspective that they were both children and each other's ally and confidant. Now, he has pulled away, become more overbearing, and identified himself with the adult world, which leaves Scout feeling isolated and belittled.

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At the beginning of chapter 12, Scout begins to comment on Jem's maturation by saying,

"Jem was twelve. He was difficult to live with, inconsistent, moody" (Lee, 116).

Calpurnia also recognizes that Jem is growing up and begins referring to Jem as "Mister Jem." Jem becomes more aloof towards Scout, and she mentions,

"In addition to Jem’s newly developed characteristics, he had acquired a maddening air of wisdom" (Lee, 118).

Jem also begins reading the paper like his father and stops playing their typical child games in the front yard. In chapter 14, Jem identifies himself as an adult during a conversation with Scout shortly after she gets into an argument with Aunt Alexandra. Jem takes Scout into his room and tells her to stop antagonizing her aunt. Scout immediately becomes defensive by thinking that Jem is trying to tell her what to do. Jem then attempts to explain to his sister that the Tom Robinson case has been worrying their father, which is something Scout is too young to comprehend. When Scout mentions that she hasn't noticed a difference in their father's behavior, Jem says,

"That’s because you can’t hold something in your mind but a little while...It’s different with grown folks, we—" (Lee, 139).

Scout can no longer stand Jem's "maddening superiority" and begins to yell at her brother. Jem once again reveals that he identifies himself as an adult by saying,

"Now I mean it, Scout, you antagonize Aunty and I’ll—I’ll spank you" (Lee, 139).

The two siblings then get into a physical altercation, which is broken up by their father shortly after it starts.

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At the beginning of Part Two of To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem has just turned 12 years old.

He was difficult to live with, inconsistent, moody.

He was growing up and reaching the first stages of puberty. He no longer wanted to spend as much time with Scout and, as Calpurnia explained,

"He's gonna want to be off to himself a lot now, doin' whatever boys do..."

Jem had also

... acquired an alien set of values and was trying to impose them on me... In addition to Jem's newly acquired characteristics, he had acquired a maddening air of wisdom.

He was also feeling more like a man. Although neither of the children particularly care for their Aunt Alexandra, Jem tries harder to get along with her or, at least stay out of her way. When Atticus and Alexandra argue about Calpurnia's place in the Finch home, Jem blames Scout. He orders her "not to antagonize Aunty, hear?" Scout accuses Jem of being bossy, but he tells her that they don't need to be "worrying" Atticus with the upcoming trial taking up so much of his time. Believing that he is now an adult himself, Jem tells Scout that

"... you can't hold something in your mind but a little while... It's different with grown folks. We--

With that, a brawl began between the two, and they were both children again. With the arrival of Dill, Jem allowed Scout to reacquaint herself with her "permanent fiance," preferring to spend his evenings alone in his bedroom with "a stack of football magazines." In the later chapters, Jem proudly displays his first evidence of chest hair, and announces that he plans to go out for the football team.

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