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What Do Jem and Scout Learn Throughout the Course of the Novel

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Jem and Scout are two caring siblings who look out for each other. At the start the children are not aware of a few things such as what real courage was. Boo Radley, to them a very strange man, lived at the corner of the street in a shabby house with his father and mother. The children’s assumptions about Boo were very strange, they thought that “he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch” and that “his eyes popped and he drooled most of the time”.

However the children find gifts in a big tree in front of the Radley house which, they assume, are for them.

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The children find two strips of chewing gum, a pocket watch and a few other small gifts. When Jem and Scout trespassed on the Radley property and got shot at by Mr Radley , Jem snagged his trousers on the fence and they tore, but when jem went back for his trousers he found that they were badly sewn up and folded over the fence as if Boo was expecting him to go back for them.

The children do not appreciate his kindness until the end of the story. Atticus, Jem and Scouts father, was nice man he was a lawyer for Maycomb County. The children say “Atticus was feeble. He was nearly fifty”.

However when the children see Atticus shoot a mad dog in the street they find out that he is “the deadest shot in the county”. Miss Maudie, the town gossip, says that Atticus “put his gun down when he realized that god had given him an unfair advantage over most living things”. Jem and scout only understand that Atticus was trying to hide his talent for shooting. Near to the end of the story, the children look up to Atticus much more than at the beginning of the book. The children think Atticus is a great role model. Mrs Dubose, a lady who usually shouts abuse at the children, has, what it seems, a lovely garden.

Atticus even comments on how nice her flowers are. However when Jem gets sick of the way she treats the children, he picks all of her flower heads and scatters them on the lawn. When Mrs Dubose finds out what he has done, for a punishment, he has to read, for two hours a day to her. Jem did not like reading, but he was learning from Atticus because he wanted him to be a good reader. What Jem does not realise is that Mrs Dubose is a morphine addict, and as the days went by she would set the alarm clock a little later to help her come off the drug.

Atticus says that Mrs Dubose was the bravest person he ever met but the children did not understand this. They thought Mrs Dubose was horrible. During this book Mrs Dubose dies, and as a token of her appreciation, she gives Jem a flower to show that she forgives him. Atticus tells the children that “real courage is not a man with a gun in his hand”. Atticus means that you don’t have to have great courage because you shot a dog, he wants them to realise that real courage is helping the hardest things.

Racism was a big part of life in Mississippi, and in the book Jem and Scout learn just how racist people can be. When Tom Robinson, a decent, friendly black man was falsely accused of raping Mayella Ewell the whole town is against him. Judge Taylor asks Atticus to take up the case of the incident. In the book it says “simply because we were licked 100 years before we started, there is no reason for us not to try to win”, this is explaining that a black man stands no chance against a fully white jury in a case of rape.

We also know that this was a racist place when Mr Bob Ewell calls Atticus a nigger lover. When Tom Robinson is moved to Maycomb county jail, a lynch mob, formed of about 20 men turned up to try to kill him, Atticus however was expecting this and took a chair, his book and a lamp to outside the jail to wait for the mob. Jem, Scout and Dill, Jem’s and scout’s friend, was with them when they did not know where Atticus went. So, with dill by their side, they ran to the jail only to find the lynch mob were already there. Scout, seeing Atticus, ran up to him.

And when she speaks to Mr Walter Cunningham the gang leave. Tom Robinson was killed by being shot 7 times whilst trying to escape from prison. At Christmas time the children are given Air Rifles and told by Atticus “you can shoot all the blue-jays you want, if you can catch them, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird”. Scout had a performance at her school which required her to dress up as a ham. Once the production was over they were on their way home when they heard something behind them. They did not think much of it but they started walking quicker and quicker.

When they ran someone chased after them and that someone was Bob Ewell. When the children reached the front of the Radley place, they did not stop running. Boo Radley came outside and stabbed Bob Ewell in the ribs to save the children from him. Tom Robinson is like a mockingbird because he did nothing wrong to deserve to die, which is why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird. Along with courage, the children learn the important facts of racism and forgivingness. This book has also taught me about real courage and in thought, overall a good read.

Cite this What Do Jem and Scout Learn Throughout the Course of the Novel

What Do Jem and Scout Learn Throughout the Course of the Novel. (2016, Dec 17). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/what-do-jem-and-scout-learn-throughout-the-course-of-the-novel/

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