to kill a mockingbird Essay

Submitted By wellboard
Words: 1349
Pages: 6

How does Lee show that Scout and Jem are developing throughout the trial?
In the beginning of the novel, To Kill A mockingbird, Scout and Jem are portrayed as innocents, uncorrupted by our world of prejudice and racism. Their world is simple, sensible, a child's world. However, by the end of the novel, their world has expanded to enclose the irrational nature of humans. Jem and Scout's growing up is portrayed by a series of events that shatters their innocence as easily as a mockingbird can be silenced.
The trial in the book is about a black man who has been accused of raping a 19 year old Mayella Ewell. Atticus Finch, father of Jem and Scout Finch, has been given the task of defending the black man in a racist town and era. The father of Mayella Ewell is an extremely strong racist as he at one point calls the area where many black people live a ‘Nigger nest’. Even though Atticus brings forward substantial evidence the judges’ verdict was that Tom Robinson is guilty and was to be executed. Unlike Jem, Scout doesn’t understand what racism is, so she goes about her daily routine as usual. Jem on the other hand is in tears when the verdict is called.
The day before the trial Tom Robinson is moved to the county jail the night in which this happens Atticus sits outside the jail reading the newspaper. Meanwhile Jem, Dill and Scout are lurking the streets to see what Atticus is doing. As the children silently approach a number of cars pull up outside the jail. while the children are unaware of what is about to unfold, Atticus does not try and hide the fact that the men are going to ‘hurt’ Atticus in attempt to get to Tom Robinson inside the jail. Scout jumps out and confronts the men. As Atticus tells Jem to take himself and the others home he refuses and faces of with his father. One of the men tries to grab Jem but Scout kicks him making him back off. Scout them sees a familiar face in the crowd, Walter Cunningham’s (a boy in Scouts class) father, as she tries to have a friendly chat but is getting a lack of answers, She then asks Mr. Cunningham to say “hi” to walter for her. At that moment Mr. Cunningham kneels down and tells scout that he will deliver the message, after he tells the other men to disperse and they do. Later Atticus comments on how a child can fend off a mob of men. Almost certainly giving a big boost of Morale for the upcoming trial.
"...If there's just one kind of folks, why can't they get along with each other? If they're all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I'm beginning to understand something. I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time...it's because he wants to stay inside." Jem eventually establishes an understanding of people. Jem does not, however, lose hope. He remains steady to the silent promise he made to Atticus, the commitment of justice for all people Jem learns very powerful lessons from Atticus on bravery and cowardice. After Atticus shoots the mad dog, Jem receives a lesson on how guns do not make a man brave, but "when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see through it no matter what". Jem is sent to read to Mrs. Dubose after destroying her plants, and observes one kind of true bravery. Mrs. Dubose was battling a morphine addiction, which she quit in order to stay true to herself in not being addicted to anything when she dies. Jem, himself, shows bravery early on in the book, when he refuses to leave his father's side at the jailhouse. In the end, Jem understands the true meaning of bravery.
Jem by this point had developed significantly mainly because of his age, but scout is only 9 and is still puzzled by racism and why some people are and aren’t racist. During the court sessions the trio of Dill, Jem and Scout meet Dolphus Raymond who is a rich white man who comes from a rich family and is used to do what he wants ignoring others opinions. He owns a lot of…