"To Kill a Mockingbird" Essay

Submitted By madisonkaye33
Words: 946
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Madison Northrup Northrup 1
December 14, 2012
Wilson 3 Course Work Relationships change between a vast amount people in Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird. However, the most dramatic change is between Jem and Scout Finch. The sibling’s life takes place in Maycomb County, Alabama in the 1930s, when racism and segregation were prolific issues. The reader is reminded of the children’s innocence, which is portrayed through their growing relationship throughout the novel. Jem and Scout’s relationship is strengthened as they encounter many trials and tribulations such as finding presents in the knothole, Aunt Alexandria giving her opinion on the Cunninghams, Mr. Ewell attacking the children, and the children undergoing puberty. In the beginning of the novel, Harper Lee explains how the bond between the siblings is strengthened by the discovery of the presents in the tree’s knothole. As Scout finds the first present, which was chewing gum, she realizes the impact on her and Jem’s relationship when Jem says, “Don’t you know you’re not supposed to even touch the trees over there? You’ll get killed if you do!” (Lee, 33). When Jem says this, it describes how he is very protective of Scout, as most big brothers would be. His actions show his beliefs in his authority over Scout, but it also provides evidence that Jem still gets scared and worried at the thought of losing Scout, which pushes him to protect her health and well-being. The discovery of the first present in the knothole also demonstrates the love Scout has for Jem, because he is the first and only person she shares her findings with. Her actions show the abundant amount of love, trust, and respect Northrup 2 she has for Jem. Through the discovery of these treasures, the children’s relationship is strengthened as Scout is eager to show Jem her findings and Jem is terrified at first, because he is worried about Scout, but later he loves the presents and bonding time he is given with his little sister. Although many events have a significant impact on Jem and Scout’s relationship, Aunt
Alexandria giving her opinion on the Cunninghams -which is they are trash- brought the children closer together. Lee portrays the inseparable bond between Jem and Scout when Scout says, “He [Jem] caught me by the shoulders, put his arm around me, and led me sobbing in fury to his bedroom.” (Lee, 225). In Jem doing so, it shows how he has compassion for Scout, and wants her to stay out of trouble. Scout may not understand what her Aunt means, but Jem does, and he knows this, which pushes him to uphold Scout’s dignity and be there to help her through anything that may come her way. Scout discovers that she is very reliant on Jem to be there and protect her, but even more so, she realizes that Jem is always there for her. This occurrence with Aunt Alexandria strengthened the sibling’s relationship, rather than adding tensions like most family issues would. Although family issues impact any relationship, the fear of losing a loved one will strengthen even the most fragile relationships, as it did with Jem and Scout when Mr. Ewell attacked them. Scout’s trepidation is depicted when she questions Atticus saying, “Atticus is Jem dead?” (Lee, 263). Scout not only asks Atticus, but repeats the question multiple times, which shows the terror that overwhelms her when she thinks she has lost Jem. Scout’s constant

Northrup 3 repetition of the question portrays the guilt she feels as she begins to realize Jem got…