To Kill a Mockingbird

Jem the Visionary: Characterization in To Kill a Mockingbird 9th Grade

In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, Scout's (the narrator's) older brother, Jem, plays an ironically important role. He may seem similar to other boys in Maycomb given his brotherly characteristics, but there is more to his character. Jem is a luminary to his sister. He realizes the inhumane qualities of Maycomb, and ultimately stands up for what is right, even if he is looked down upon for doing so. Undoubtedly, Jem is a paragon of tolerance whom many people should look up to, even though Lee also succeeds as presenting him as an everyday young boy.

From the beginning of the book, Jem acts as a leader figure to Scout and Dill. Jem is an affectionate and benevolent older brother and allows her to play with him. This is why Scout automatically looks up to him. For example, Jem assists them across the street (Scout and Dill) when investigating the Radley house. After Scout decided to tag along, “Jem held up the bottom wire and motioned Dill under it. I followed, and held up the wire for Jem” (Lee 69). Jem is important to Scout, and so is how well they work together. Without Jem's major role in Scout’s life, she would not have courage and bravery. Jem and Scout live without a mother for most of their lives and though Calpurnia...

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