Why does Jem want nothing to do with Scout at school in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jem and Scout are nearly unseparable during the early chapters of To Kill a Mockingbird. You may have noticed that neither of them have any other playmates aside from Dill, so they are used to sharing all of their free time together. Scout learns that life at school will be much different. Jem is in the fifth grade, and Scout is only entering the first grade, and he is worried that the other fifth graders will give him a hard time if his little sister tries to hang around with them. He is worried about being embarrassed with Scout's "references to his private life," and he tells her "to leave him alone." Although Jem warns Scout not to bother him at recess or lunch, Jem does show up just in time to save Walter Cunningham from taking a bigger beating in the schoolyard.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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