“To Kill A Mockingbird” Essay, Research Paper
To Kill A Mockingbird Essay – Character Analysis of Jem Finch
German Finch. What can you say about him? Well, you can say that he is a pretty great character. In the next couple pages, I?ll tell you just why this is. I?ll also explain my views on this important literary figure. So sit back, relax, and get ready for the ?A&E Biography? of German Finch (Well, not really A&E Biography, but good anyway).
German Finch, otherwise known as Jem, was a key figure in the book ?To Kill A Mockingbird.? This ?co-star? of the book is in his teenage years and was mentioned in the first paragraph of the book. This type of literary action is usually used to signify a special role in the story. He was introduced as Scout Finch?s brother who broke his arm at an early age in his life.
He is also introduced as liking sports at an earl age. This tells us that he is very outgoing. This is important because throughout the story Jem and Scout get into trouble involving being physically fit. For example, when German jumped the fence to get away from the brother of Boo Radley, it?s a good thing he was physically fit otherwise he could have ripped a little more than just his pants.
Also, being physically fit, I think, made Scout want to look up to Jem even more. Seeing as Scout enjoys physical activities herself, having an older relative in her immediate family gives her more to do. In that way, the story involves the two children in their adventures, not just Scout.
Jem, I think, is portrayed perfectly to be a brother to scout. He is almost too real for this book! If you look at it, Jem acts in ways and does things that most older brothers do to their smaller, weaker siblings; in this case a sister. Basically, he acts like he can do anything and act he wants to her. In some parts of the story, Jem is loving, kind, and gentle with the younger Scout. This is shown mostly in the beginning of ?To Kill A Mockingbird.? Take for example towards the time when Dill arrives. He?s great before he arrives and even better when Dill just comes. Dill, Jem, and Scout form a strong bond. They start to do mischievous acts together. Here comes Jem?s fall from grace.
Now the dark side of the character known as German Finch. As you know, Jem and Dill get more acquainted with each other very fast. Their mischievous acts get them both a kick, but to Jem, it?s just not enough. Jem now becomes a devious scoundrel of a rebel! His relationship with Scout takes a downward spiral as a result of this. He begins to try and annoy her every chance he gets. He?s obnoxious to her and even down right frightening. The rebellious ego of his fills even more with time. Remember the tree house incident? If not, it was when he was staying in the tree house all day. One time, Jem, Dill, and Scout run into the Radley property, and get in serious trouble. Jem rips his pants on the fence of the Radley premises and I feel that gave him an even larger amount of air to fill his ego with. I feel this way because since then, Jem starts pointing out how girlish Scout is. He also stops playing with her and goes off to play with Dill instead of his sister.
Jem begins shows a little ?shine of good,? though, during the following chapters. I like to term this as ?The Jem Reformation,? because it?s basically Jem?s reformation from dark to light. ?The Jem Reformation? basically begins at the point when Dill leaves Maycomb County. From then on, he leaves his ego filled head behind and starts to really mature. This maturing process takes a while, but when it starts it picks up quickly. Firstly was the Tom Robinson case. Although this spreads through a large part of the story, but I just want to talk about it real quick. Even at the start of the trial, Jem knew that it was a racist thing and that Tom Robinson would most likely be found guilty and executed. However, he kept his faith to his fathers skills in law and had a little flicker of hope in him. Next, was Boo Radley. Since the beginning of ?To Kill A Mockingbird,? Jem saw Boo Radley as a mysterious figure of a person. He thought him to be bad. However, as he gets older ad the novel progresses, Jem realizes that Boo Radley is actually a man of good intentions who means no harm. Jem deduces this conclusion easily. He sees that someone is leaving treats and goodies in the knothole of a tree for them to find and enjoy. He thinks it?s a mystery in his early years, but in maturity he knows that it is none other than Boo Radley. Also, when Miss Maudie?s house is burning down and someone puts a blanket on Scout to protect her from the cold, he figures out that it was actually Boo Radley. Scout gets a little scared at the notion of Boo Radley coming up behind her, but Jem soon explains to and convinces her that Boo Radley is actually a nice guy.
Another big help to ?The Jem Reformation? was the whole ordeal with Mrs. Dubose. There is no apparent mystery about Mrs. Dubose, but in some ways she is just as intimidating as Boo Radley ever was. The old lady sits on her front porch in her wheelchair and makes nasty remarks as the children pass by. One day, in addition to her usual insults, Mrs. Dubose taunts Jem and Scout for having a father who makes his living “lawing for niggers.” Jem has been able to take worse than this from children his own age, but these words coming from an adult try his self-control beyond endurance. On his way back from downtown, Jem slashes the buds off all of Mrs. Dubose’s camellia bushes.
Now Jem?s father, Atticus, is pretty much mad and insists that Jem apologize for what he has done, and Mrs. Dubose says that to make amends Jem must come to her house and read aloud to her for two hours every afternoon for two months. Mrs. Dubose starts every session with more nasty insults, and then gradually drops off into a sort of drooling fit. Every day, the alarm clock that signals the end of the reading session takes longer and longer to ring, and the children suspect that there will never be an end to their ordeal.
Mrs. Dubose finally tells Jem that he doesn?t have to come around anymore. She dies a few weeks later. Atticus now explains to Jem why Mrs. Dubose wanted someone to read to her. Mrs. Dubose was addicted to morphine and wanted Jem to sort of help her get along with her withdrawal. This event seriously and most definitely encouraged the ?The Jem Reformation? possibly more than anything I?ve discussed.
German Finch. Now what can we say about him. We can now say that he was a typical teenage boy. He had fears, feelings, and one of the greatest attitudes I have heard of in a fictional character. Whoever thought up Jem Scout, whether it be Harper Lee, Truman Capote, or whoever, I wish to thank them for there journey into this boy. German Finch: a real literary hero.