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To Kill A Mockingbird: Coming of Age of Jeremy Finch

The coming of age of Jem, Jeremy Finch, is shown in many ways through

out the book To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. He changes socially. He

changes mentally. His feelings change emotionally. He also changes to become

more of an adult figure. Another way he changes is that he changes physically.

Jem changes through out the book socially by the way he starts having

better feelings toward other people. There are many times when Jem start

feeling bad for other people in the story, like when him and scout get in a

fight but even though their mad at each other he still is grow up enough to

know that he should say “Night, Scout.” There are also many other incidents,

like when he goes out and teaches Dill how to swim. Jem also goes through some

bad social change when he turns “twelve. He is difficult to live with,

inconsistent, and moody.”(115). These are only a few of the things that Jem

does to show that he is growing up in his social ways.

Mental change is another type of change that Jem goes through. Jem

start to think like an adult as he gets older in the book. He shows it at the

trial of Tim Robinson when the jury is in the jury room and he starts to talk to

Reverend Sykes. He starts saying thing about the trial and Reverend Sykes ask

him not to talk like that in front of Scout. Which shows that he knows what

he is talking about.(see page 208-209). There is also the time when he had to

go and read to Mrs. Dubose which he later finds out about her drug addiction

which he fully understands. So those are ways he changes mentally.

Jem changes physically in many ways in the story. His hair stuck up

behind and down in front, and I wondered if it would it would ever look like a

man’s-maybe if he shaved it off and started over, his hair would grow back

neatly in place. 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.(see page225) So these things show how he changes physically to

become more of a man as he hits puberty.

Another change that Jem goes through is his feeling toward himself and

how he starts to feel better about himself. When he gets home one day from

school he shows that he is all confident about making the football team and how

happy he is to be old enough to play. But even though he doesn’t get to play

he still remains happy with just being the waterboy and just being able to be

there watching. During the trial “It was Jem’s turn to cry.” which shows that

he was not afraid to just let his feeling be show even though most people

wouldn’t have.(212) So these show that Jem can feel good about himself and

also feel bad but he can still let it out if he has to.

One of the most important change that Jem goes through is taking and

adult role in Scouts life. He walks her to the school play and he protects her

from Bob Ewell when he tries to kill them. This is the main one because if Jem

did try and stop Ewell Scout could have died and it would have show that Jem

didn’t really have an adult role. Also another reason is when Jem tells Dill

that he shouldn’t touch Boo’s house because if Boo kills him no one will be

around to keep an eye on Scout.(13)

As you can see those where all ways that Jem shows his coming of age in

the book To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee. By changing socially he becomes

more likable. By changing emotionally with himself he becomes more confident.

By changing mentally he starts to under stand more compicated things that

before he would have never knew about. By changing physically he becomes more

of a man and is more older. And finally by changing to be more of an adult to

his sister he becomes more aware of what an adult has to face.


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