Growing Old Is Mandatory Growing up Is an Option

Categories: Growing Up
About this essay

This is a unique way to describe the process of maturing. Jem matures greatly throughout the course of the Harper Lee’s book To Kill a Mockingbird. He grows up but never fully leaves childhood behind. This is shown in the book on page 166 when the trial he is not sure if they will win or not but once his dad makes it obvious that Bob Ewell did it he is sure (Lee 166). He does not completely know why, but he knows a little of how it works with blacks and whites.

How Jem feels about the trial shows how Jem is maturing through the course of the book.

To begin, there are many signs in the book that hint that Jem is maturing. The first sign is at the trial when Jem says “we got him” after Atticus asked Bob if he was ambidextrous and he said no and that he could use one hand as good as the other (Lee 178).

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He thinks that they will win because at this point Atticus has made it obvious that Bob Ewell did it because Mayella’s right eye was black which meant whoever was left handed must have done. Since Tom Robinson only has one working which is his right it had to be Bob that was abusing Mayella. When the jury finds Tom guilty Jem finds out that whites will almost always win when going up against someone who is black. I have matured through my life for instance when I was young I said something mean and my best friend upset.

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I have matured and I now know that it is not nice to say mean things to people. Even though Jem is maturing he still shows some signs of childhood through the book.

At the same time Jem is maturing, he is also showing signs of childhood. He shows this on page 212 when he starts crying after the trial, saying “it ain’t right” (Lee 212). He is frustrated and confused about why Tom is found guilty even though he did not do anything wrong. He also shows childhood on page 103 when he destroys Miss Dubose’s flowers out of anger (Lee 103). Jem is showing childhood when he is crying and not fully understanding why whites will always win against blacks. When I was young sometimes I did not understand why I did not get what I wanted. Now I that I have matured I understand that I do not always get what I want because sometimes you have to give up something you want and compromise to let everyone have a little bit of what they want. The way Jem matures throughout the book has a great impact on the book.

Therefore, Jem’s maturity is a big factor in the book’s outcome. At the end of the book Scout and Jem get into a fight with Bob Ewell (Lee 262). Jem does not know who it is at the time because it was very dark out and they could not see anything but all he wants is to get Scout to safety. He ends up getting hit by Bob and he is knocked unconscious and is carried off by Atticus into the house. This shows that Jem has matured because he is standing up for his sister trying to keep her safe even though it was a dangerous situation he takes the risk to help Scout. One time when I was at my cousins’ house my sister was getting made fun of by my cousins but instead of supporting them, I told them to stop because it was not right.

In conclusion “Growing old is mandatory; growing up is an option” (Davis, Chili). This is a great way to describe the process maturing which Jem displays through the course of Harper Lee’s book To Kill a Mockingbird. Even though he does mature greatly he never fully leaves childhood behind. Like on page 166 at the trial he is not sure if Tom is going to win or not but once Atticus makes it obvious he knows for sure (Lee 166). How Jem feels about the trial shows how Jem is maturing through the course of the book.

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Growing Old Is Mandatory Growing up Is an Option. (2022, Jan 27). Retrieved from

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