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Character Analysis of Scout and Jem in To Kill a Mockingbird

It is a sin to kill a mockingbird because they do nothing but make music for us to enjoy.” This was quoted from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, a creative novelist. To Kill a Mockingbird is about a young girl named Jean-Louise Finch, her brother Jeremy Finch and many other characters. Jean- Louise is nick-named Scout and Jeremy is nick-named Jem. Their father Atticus, who was a lawyer, had been given a case to handle and did not have any choice but to receive it and work his best for his client. The case was about an African man, named Tom Robinson, who was accused of raping a white woman.

Throughout the story, the reader sees how Scout and Jem are afraid of Boo because they think he is a monster and tries to tease him. They try to play tricks on Boo. Later in the novel, they are no longer afraid of him and are no longer interested in teasing him.

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Another example of their maturity is how they view people. When Scout and Jem see how Tom Robinson is treated just because he is black, they begin to understand the meaning of prejudice. No one comes to help Tom Robinson except their father who defends him when Tom is accused of raping a white woman. Scout watches the trial and believes that he will be found innocent. Instead, Tom Robinson is found guilty. Her disappointment in the verdict makes Scout question the idea of justice.

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“Who in this town did one thing to help Tom Robinson, just who?” (215)

Scout and Jem had believed that their father was not like any other fathers in school. They see him as an old man who can´t do anything. However, when a mad dog appears on the street, Atticus, their farther, kills that dog with one shot. They are surprised to learn that he is the best shot in the town. Their attitude towards their father has changed. This is a sign of maturity.

“The rifle cracked. Tim Johnson leapt, flopped over and crumpled on the sidewalk in a brown-and-white heap. He didn´t know what hit him.” (96)

“Jem became vaguely articulate, ‘you see him, Scout? You see him just stand there? All of a sudden he just relaxed all over. it looked like that gun was a part of him…and he did it so quick, like… I hafta aim for ten minutes fore I can hit something,…´”(97)

Another incident that shows Scout´s maturing is when she overhears her teacher saying that it is a good thing Tom Robinson was convicted because the black was getting too “high and mighty.” This disturbs scout very much because the teacher is always telling them about democracy and the persecution of Jews yet it is OK to persecute the blacks. Scout wonders how her teacher could be so contradictory.

The last incident which brings Scout to adulthood is when she and Jem are brought safely home from their attacker by boo. She finally has the courage to stand on the Radley porch, and the kids are no longer afraid of Boo Radley. They now understand him.

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Scout and Jem mature during the duration of the novel by watching the events happening around them. They learn to examine the institutions around them more closely and to accept people as they are.

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Character Analysis of Scout and Jem in To Kill a Mockingbird. (2021, Mar 08). Retrieved February 6, 2023, from