To Kill a Mockingbird BY CJV812 John Doe 1:30 Freshman English Mr. Smith During the course of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Jem has grown from a childish, playful boy that he was from the start of the novel, to a more calm, collect and mature fgure Just like his father, Atticus. The author has incorporated the theme of Maturity into the novel through the development of Jem in three key way, he stops pestering the Radley, he stops making ridiculous accusations, and he stops thinking of Atticus as an old man. In the beginning , Jem had no concept of what courage is.
His concept of bravery was through the acceptance of dares forced upon him. According to Scout, Jem had “never declined a dare” throughout his entire life. This exhibits his stupidity. Jem accepts dares blindly, he does not think of the consequences of a dare, or about his safety in performing a dare. Also, his ignorance that he was the bravest of all three children led him to commit ridiculous gestures of ‘bravery’ such as touching the front door of the Radley house, as he “wanted Dill to know once and for all that he wasn’t scared of anything”.
This form of courage is not respected by the adults in Maycomb, evident from the response of Atticus when he heard that the children were causing trouble in the Radley’s place, he warned Jem “to mind his own business and let the Radleys mind theirs. ” Jem had ridiculous ideas of what Boo Radley looked like. According to Jem , Boo was “six-and-a-half feet tall”, “dined on raw squirrels and any cats” and his hands were “blood-stained”. In truth, Boo was kind of like Jem, and he was actually a kind-hearted person, but due to the rejudices in Maycomb towards Boo, he was talked about as a monster.
This showed his immaturity because even though he knows that these facts are false, he still continues to be ignorant of his beliefs, and does not rationalize with himself that the descriptions of Boo Radley were impossible. Jem also was mean to his sister, commonly referring to her as a “girl”, which is in fact true, but his usage of that word was a form of a degradatory term used to put Scout down. Whenever Jem was rebutted by Scout, and he knows what she says is true, he would often relate her to a girl” who “always imagined things” and “that’s why other people hated them so”.
He says this is also to get Scout to do what he wants, because then, Scout would refuse that she is not a “girl”, and would prove it by doing whatever Jem asks her to. Finally, Jem used to have negative perceptions of what Atticus lacks in life. He saw Atticus as an old man that could not do much. He also mentioned that Atticus was “nearly blind in his left eye”, but in actual fact, Atticus was known as the “deadest shot in Maycomb”.
Jem found Atticus as boring , since he “did not do the things Jems classmate’s fathers did” and when there was a football game in church, “everybody’s father was playing, it seemed, except Atticus”, which made Jem frustrated because he was not able to Join them due to Atticus being a ‘cold blanket’. He was ultimately a reflection of Atticus. He “didn’t want to do anything but read”, a “gentleman”, Just like Atticus. He also inherited the sarcastic nature of Atticus. These are examples of the maturity of Jem from the Journey to his childish ways, to the principled Atticus.