Jem's loss of innocence

Essay by georgiamcalpineHigh School, 12th gradeA+, September 2014

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Trading Naivety for Maturity Georgia McAlpine

Block: 3

A major theme illustrated in the book, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, is the loss of innocence displayed by Jeremy Finch throughout the novel, especially after Tom Robinsons wrongful conviction. Jem evolves from a young boy to a mature character through his experiences in Maycomb. At the beginning of the novel, Jem is a childish boy who floats through his life without a care in the world. Nearing the end, it becomes very apparent that Jem had not only matured physically, but his personality and morals grew with him.

Jem, like any other child, spent the majority of his time playing outside with his sister Scout and friend Dill. His biggest worries were if Boo Radley would catch him on the way to school, or if he might be as unlucky as to walk through a hot steam. He believed in ridiculous myths, acted out the life story of a mysterious creature in Maycomb, and thought that the people in his town were the best in the world.

He was boastful and naïve, taking risks for the pure childish joy of proving someone wrong. On one summer afternoon, after Jem agreed to a dare from Dill, scout declared "Jem wanted Dill to know once and for all that he wasn't scared of anything" (p.14). This illustrates how a young Jem would do anything to astonish and amaze his friends and family. Jem's young mine begins to mature as he ages but the events of his life also trigger the beginning of his growth.

As the years pass by, Jem Finch's maturity grows along with it. Jem becomes more serious, and doesn't enjoy playing games and telling stories. As he enters this pre-pubescent stage, his mood and personality changes...