• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How Does Harper Lee Present Jem As Developing And Changing Over The Course Of The Novel?

Extracts from this document...


How Does Harper Lee Present Jem As Developing And Changing Over The Course Of The Novel? Harper Lee's character Jem Finch from her famous novel, 'To Kill A Mockingbird' is very significant because during the course of the novel he undergoes a great maturation process. As he matures a great deal mentally he sees the evil in society and understands the social and emotional issues as an adult would, which helps him come to understand all the events which are occurring around him. At the beginning of the story Harper Lee illustrates examples of Jem's child-like immaturity. You are told Jem's age by Scout "When I was almost six and Jem was almost ten" (p.6) early on in the novel to help show he is still a child. Harper Lee then goes on to give more early signs in the novel of Jem's naivety when he gives a description of Boo Radley "Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch" (p.13) ...read more.


Another small incident of Jem ageing is when for example Scout says "His eyebrows were becoming heavier, and I noticed a new slimness about his body. He was growing taller."(225) there was also when Jem tried to show Scout his hair on his chest which shows him growing up physically. (p.225) these things show how he changes physically as he hits puberty. Harper Lee uses the theme racism to help show Jem ageing in the novel. He is faced with new problems he never even knew existed in his home town, such as racism and discrimination. Racism is abundant in Maycomb, however Jem never thought about it until he has become older and the trial has accumulated. As a child he could not grasp the concept of black people being not as well respected as whites. Since there was absolutely no racism coming from Atticus, and he having Calpurnia working at his house most of the time, he could not understand why some people hated blacks. ...read more.


he used "we" and he was referring to himself and Atticus. Jem was so engrossed and in full understand of the trial he felt as if he and Atticus were both doing it together. He is following the trial very closely, and when the verdict came in guilty Jem was gripping the rail so hard where he was sitting that his fists were turning white. These descriptions show the anger and rage inside Jem at that moment, for he knows all the evidence is in favour of Tom Robinson being innocent. These events to do with the trial contributed to Jem's maturation as he is starting to understand the things that are happening around him. In conclusion I feel Harper Lee has present Jem maturing over the course of the novel by starting showing him as a young childish boy gradually growing into an understand young man. This is very affective in the story as a reader you are intrigued to see him grow and see him resemble his role model father Atticus. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This response begins to explore some interesting ideas and concepts but they need to be developed and explored in more detail. As an essay it needs to be longer and Jem's interaction and relationship with other characters needs to be investigated in more detail.

4 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 22/08/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. Life in the trenches letter home

    God must be on our side. Not everything in the trench is disheartening and hard to live with. Regularly we sing songs which cheer us up immensely. Before going over the top we might sing songs of hope and optimism, this encourages us to the extent that we are literally charging in to the shock of the German forces.

  2. Brother Sebastian in the novel Lamb by Bernard Mac Laverty

    He had a neutral/positive relationship with Sebastian and a negative relationship with Benedict. Owen Kane and Sebastian both have the same views on the Home. In the novel Brother Sebastian father dies and he is left a sum of money from the farm in which his father owned.

  1. How does Arthur Miller explore the theme of masculinity in A View from the ...

    he's like a chorus girl or sum'p" Eddie tests Rodolpho's masculinity; as he has to teach him how to box, and also by kissing him on the lips in front of Catherine. The stage directions for this action are "Eddie pins his arms, laughing and suddenly kisses him" This questions the masculinity of both Eddie and Rodolpho.

  2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    This is similar to how Jane Austen wrote 'Pride and Prejudice' because she also took a non descript life but wrote about it in a way that made it interesting to read about, which is what Mark Haddon wanted to do with 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time'.

  1. Laughing at our Feet

    Jan Mark, in 'Feet', used a couple of other aspects, these including the characters; all of them in his short story are very different from each other and each possesses a distinct characteristic. At the same time that we cannot imagine a teacher who looks like an orangutan in his

  2. Catherine's diary - 'A View From The Bridge'

    This suggests means that Eddie could lose self control at any moment which could make the audience more anxious and which therefore builds up drama and tension into the scene. The audience's feelings have been prepared for by Miller through the action in Act 1.

  1. How does Miller present the relationship between Proctor and Elizabeth in Acts 2 and ...

    In the time the play is set it was common for a women's domain to be in the home, so the fact that Elizabeth's home is so dull is reflective of her personality, 'It is the low, dark, and rather long living room of the time'.

  2. Discuss How The Nature Of The Relationships Between Catherine, Eddie and Rodolfo Are Made ...

    This suggests that Catherine is his possession and that this argument is all because of Eddie's pride and honour. Therefore Eddie and Rodolfo, to a certain extent have a difficult and somewhat awkward relationship, Eddie cannot face the fact that Catherine has found someone else to rely on and to

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work