In To Kill a Mockingbird, what are ten things about Jem Finch that are the most important?

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mshurn's profile pic

Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Jem certainly plays a very significant role in the novel and his character is well developed. Here are some facts about Jem in terms of the plot and the kind of young man he is shown to be:

1. Jem is Atticus' son and Scout's big brother.

2. He loves and admires his father enormously and models himself after Atticus.

3. He loves Scout deeply and looks after her, even though she annoys him frequently as only a little sister can.

4. Jem rememers his mother and misses her in a way Scout does not because Scout does not remember their mother.

5. Jem is not a racist. He loves Calpurnia and treats her with respect.

6. Jem "hates" Mrs. Dubose but is upset when she dies.

7. His fear of Atticus' disapproval overcomes his fear when he goes back to the Radley place to retrieve his pants.

8. Jem goes through many changes throughout the novel; he is growing up; this changes his relationship to Scout in some ways she does not like.

9. Jem is old enough to understand what is done to Tom Robinson in court and feel pain because of it.

10. Jem is attacked and hurt badly by Bob Ewell on the way home from the school play, as he tries to protect his little sister.

 

gmuss25's profile pic

gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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1. Jem absolutely adores his father and looks up to him. Jem wants to become a lawyer when he grows older and attempts to emulate Atticus throughout the story.

2. Jem is an adventurous boy, who enjoys going on "raids" and sneaking around the neighborhood.

3. Jem enjoys being in control and considers himself to be the leader among Dill and Scout.

4. Jem is obsessed with football and is continually reading sports magazines. He fantasizes about starting on the varsity team and stuffs himself to gain weight.

5. Jem is protective of his father and sister throughout the novel. He does not leave his father's side at the Maycomb jail and attempts to defend Scout against Bob Ewell.

6. Jem gains perspective on Boo Radley and realizes that he is not a malevolent individual.

7. Jem is not a racist and was taught to treat everybody with respect, regardless of race or ethnicity.

8. As Scout's older brother, Jem feels that it is his responsibility to educate her about various matters.

9. Jem becomes jaded towards his prejudiced neighbors after losing his childhood innocence.

10. Jem recognizes the flaws in Maycomb's judicial system and vows to change them when he grows up.

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