Free Essay: Initially written as a simple love story, To Kill a Mockingbird is regarded by For example, Atticus makes Scout and Jem read to Ms. Dubose as be who they are'” (James, Boy Assaults Gay Student as Cellphone Captures Attack). Get an answer for 'Describe the relationship between Atticus and Jem in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.' and find homework help for other To Kill a. Jem's Growth in Harper Lee's Novel, To Kill a Mockingbird Essay Atticus is guarding the jailhouse to make sure no one hurts Tom Robinson before his trial, Jem's relationship with Scout changes as he matures in the story. In particular, blacks were subject to special Jim Crow laws which restricted their rights and.
He presides over the Tom Robinson trial showing great distaste for the Ewells and great respect for Atticus. Because of the judge's sympathies for Tom, Bob Ewell breaks into the judge's house while the judge's wife is at church.
After the trial, Miss Maudie points out to the children that the judge had tried to help Tom by appointing Atticus to the case instead of Maxwell Green, the new, untried lawyer who usually received court-appointed cases. Judge Taylor knew that Atticus was the only man who would stand a chance at acquitting Tom, or at least would be able to keep the jury thinking for more than just a few minutes.
By doing this, Judge Taylor was not giving in or supporting racism. He is portrayed in the film by Paul Fix. She had known the Finches for many years, having been brought up on the Buford place, which was near the Finches' ancestral home, Finch's Landing.
She is described as a woman of about 50 who enjoys baking and gardening; her cakes are especially held in high regard.
However, she is frequently harassed by devout "Foot-Washing Baptists"who tell her that her enjoyment of gardening is a sin.
The Foot-Washing Baptists also believe that women are a sin as well. Miss Maudie befriends Scout and Jem and tells them stories about Atticus as a boy. It is strongly implied that she and Atticus have a more than platonic relationship. Also, she is one of the few adults that Jem and Scout hold in high regard and respect. She does not act condescendingly towards them, even though they are young children. During the course of the novel, her house burns down; however, she shows remarkable courage throughout this even saying that she wanted to burn it down herself to make more room for her flowers.
She is not prejudiced, though she talks caustically to Miss Stephanie Crawford, unlike many of her Southern neighbors, and teaches Scout important lessons about racism and human nature. It is important to note that Miss Maudie fully explains that "it is a sin to kill a mockingbird", whereas Atticus Finch initially brings up the subject but doesn't go into depth.
When Jem gets older, and doesn't want to be bothered by Scout, Miss Maudie keeps her from getting angry. Maudie is played by Rosemary Murphy in the film. Lee "Bob" Ewell[ edit ] Robert E. He has a daughter named Mayella and a younger son named Burris, as well as six other unnamed children.
He is an alcoholic, poaching game to feed his family because he spends whatever money they legally gain via government "relief checks" on alcohol. It is implied, and evidence suggests, that he was the one who abused his daughter Mayella, not Tom Robinson the African American man accused of doing so.
Although most everybody in town knows that the Ewells are a disgrace and not to be trusted, it is made clear that Tom Robinson was convicted because he is a Negro whose accuser is white. Upon hearing of Tom's death, Bob is absolutely gleeful, gloating about his success. After being humiliated at the trial, however, he goes on a quest for revenge, becoming increasingly violent.
He begins by spitting in Atticus' face, followed by a failed attempt to break into the home of Judge Taylor, then finally menacing Helen, the poor widow of Tom Robinson. Ewell later attempts to murder Jem and Scout Finch with a knife to complete his revenge. Boo Radley saves Jem and Scout and it is believed that he kills Ewell with the knife.
Heck Tate, the sheriff, puts in the official report that Bob Ewell fell on his own knife and died after lying under a tree for 45 minutes. Ewell is played by James Anderson in the film. Before the trial, Mayella is noted for growing red geraniums outside her otherwise dirty home in order to bring some beauty into her life.
Due to her family's living situation, Mayella has no opportunity for human contact or love. She eventually gets so desperate that she attempts to seduce a black man, Tom Robinson, by saving up nickels to send her siblings to go get ice cream so that Mayella can be alone with Tom.
Her father sees this through a window and in punishment he beats her. Ewell then finds the sheriff, Heck Tateand tells him that his daughter has been raped and beaten by Tom. At the trial, Atticus points out that only the right side of Mayella's face is injured, suggesting a left-handed assailant; Tom's left arm is mangled and useless, but Bob Ewell is left-handed. When Atticus asks her if she has any friends, she becomes confused because she does not know what a friend is.
During her testimony she is confused by Atticus' polite speech and thinks that his use of "Miss Mayella" is meant to mock her. She testifies against Tom Robinson. Mayella is played by Collin Wilcox in the film.
Atticus is assigned to defend him, and stands up to a lynch mob intent on exacting their own justice against him before the trial begins. Tom's left arm is crippled and useless, the result of an accident with a cotton gin when he was a child. Atticus uses this fact as the cornerstone of his defense strategy, pointing out that the nature of Mayella's facial injuries strongly suggest a left-handed assailant. Tom testifies that he had frequently helped Mayella with household chores because he felt sorry for her and the family's difficult life - a statement that shocks the all-white, male jury.
Despite Atticus' skilled defense, the jury's racial prejudices lead them to find Tom guilty.
To Kill a Mockingbird
Atticus plans to appeal the verdict, but before he can do so, Tom is shot and killed while trying to escape the prison where he is being held. Tom Robinson is played by Brock Peters. She has a son named Henry and a very spoiled grandson named Francis. Around the middle of the book, Aunt Alexandra decides to leave her husband at Finch's Landing, the Finch family homestead to come stay with the Finches. Aunt Alexandra doesn't consider the black Calpurnia to be a very good motherly figure for Jem and Scout; she disapproves of Scout being a tomboy and wants to make Scout into a southern belle encouraging her to act more 'lady like'.
However, as the trial progresses, Scout comes to see how much her aunt cares for her father and what a strong woman she is. This is especially evidenced by a tea party when Scout is horrified by the racism displayed, and her aunt and Miss Maudie help her deal with her feelings. By the end of the book, it's clear that Alexandra cares very much for her niece and nephew, though she and Scout will probably never really get along. He is about 40, which is 10 years younger than Atticus.
Jack smells like alcohol and something sweet, and is said that he and Alexandra have similar features. Jack is a childless doctor who can always make Scout and Jem laugh, and they adore him. He and Miss Maudie are close to the same age; he frequently teases her with marriage proposals, which she always declines. Jack also has a pet cat named Rose Aylmer, who is mentioned during the Christmas visit.
The son of her son, Henry Hancock. Francis lives in Mobile, Alabamaand is a bit of a tattle-tale. He gets along well with Jem, but often spars with Scout. One Christmas, Francis calls Atticus a "nigger-lover," as well as insisting that he was ruining the family and the likes, which infuriates Scout and causes them to get into a fight.
Francis lies about his role in it, telling Uncle Jack that Scout started it by calling him a "whore lady", and Jack therefore punishes Scout. However, she explains the full story and charitably persuades her uncle not to punish Francis about it, but to let Atticus think they had been fighting about something else although Atticus later discovers the truth.
Henry Lafayette Dubose[ edit ] Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose is an elderly woman who lives near the Finches. She is hated by the children, who run by her house to avoid her. Dubose as "plain hell. As a punishment, Jem is required to read to Mrs. Dubose each day for a month. As Jem reads, she experiences a fit of drooling and twitching and does not seem to pay any attention to the words. When an alarm rings, Jem is allowed to leave for the day. She extends the punishment for one extra week and dies shortly after letting Jem go for the last time.
Atticus informs him that Mrs. Dubose was terminally ill and had become addicted to morphine. By reading to her, Jem had distracted her so that she could break the addiction. In thanks, she leaves him a candy box with a camellia flower in it; Jem burns the box in anger, but is later seen by Scout admiring the flower.
Atticus tells Jem that Mrs. Dubose was the bravest person he ever knew, and she was trying to teach Jem the importance of bravery and true courage to endure anything when the situation is hopeless, as in her morphine addiction.
Heck Tate[ edit ] Mr. Heck Tate is a friend of Atticus and also the sheriff of Maycomb County. He believes in protecting the innocent although he doesn't usually show it.
At the end of the book, the Atticus and Heck argue over whether Jem or Boo Radley should be held responsible for the death of Bob Ewell. Heck eventually persuades Atticus to accept the theory that Ewell accidentally fell on his own knife, thus saving the harmless, reclusive Boo from the public exposure of a criminal trial.
Braxton Underwood[ edit ] Mr. Braxton Bragg Underwood is a news reporter and a friend of Atticus. He owns and also publishes The Maycomb Tribune.
Being a racist, he disagrees with Atticus on principle. He also has a strong belief in justice, as exemplified when he defends Atticus from the Cunningham mob by having his double barrel shotgun loaded and ready to shoot them. He also demonstrates some humanity when he publishes a scathing editorial comparing the killing of Tom Robinson a cripple to "the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children".
Horace Gilmer[ edit ] Mr. Horace Gilmer is a lawyer from Abbottsville, and is the prosecuting attorney in the Tom Robinson case. Gilmer is between the ages of forty and sixty. Gilmer has a slight cast with one eye, which he uses to his advantage in trial. Gilmer appeared to be racist in his harsh cross-examination of Tom Robinson, but it is hinted at that he is in fact going easy on Tom. He and Atticus are not rivals and talk to each other during recesses during the case. Reynolds[ edit ] Dr. Reynolds is the Maycomb doctor.
He is well known to Scout and Jem. Scout says that he "had brought Jem and me into the world, had led us through every childhood disease known to man including the time Jem fell out of the tree house, and he had never lost our friendship.
Reynolds said that if we were boil-prone things would have been different He inspects Jem's broken arm and Scout's minor bruises after the attack from Bob Ewell under the tree.
Dolphus Raymond[ edit ] Dolphus Raymond is a white landowner who is jaded by the hypocrisy of the white society and prefers to live among black folks.
In fact, he has children with a black woman. Dolphus pretends he is an alcoholic so that the people of Maycomb will have an excuse for his behavior, but in fact he only drinks Coca Cola out of a paper bag to try to hide it.
When Dill and Scout discover that he is not a drunk, they are amazed. He shows Scout how sometimes you can pretend to be someone you're not so people will be more understanding of you. Link Deas[ edit ] Link Deas owns cotton fields and a store in Maycomb who employs Tom and later Helen because she does not get accepted by any other employers in the county due to Tom Robinson's legal troubles. He announces to the court in defense of Tom at one point in the trial that he hadn't "had a speck o' trouble outta him" in the eight years Tom had been working for him, and gets sent out by Judge John Taylor for doing so.
When Bob Ewell starts threatening Helen after the trial, Mr. Deas fiercely defends her and threatens to have Mr. Ewell arrested if he keeps bothering her.
To Kill a Mockingbird: Jem Finch | Character Analysis | Study Guide | Lit Note | CliffsNotes
He is on Tom Robinson's side during the trial and remains loyal to the family afterward. She attempts to teach the first grade class using a new system which she learned from taking certain college courses Jem mistakenly refers to it as the " Dewey Decimal System ", which is really how library books are organized.
She is upset by Scout's advanced reading capabilities and believes that Scout is receiving lessons from Atticus. She feels as though Scout is trying to outsmart and mock her. In an effort to standardize the class, she forbids Scout from reading with her father. Atticus asks Scout to step into Miss Caroline's skin.
However, he continues to allow Scout to read with him at night so long as she continues to go to school. Miss Caroline has good intentions but proves quite incompetent as a teacher.
She is also very sensitive and gets emotionally hurt quite easily, as seen when she cries after Burris Ewell yells at her, "Report and be damned to ye! Ain't no snot-nosed slut of a schoolteacher ever born c'n make me do nothin'! You ain't makin' me go nowhere, missus. You just remember that, you ain't makin' me go nowhere! African Church in Maycomb County, where most if not all of the African-American characters go to church.
Reverend Sykes forces the congregation to donate 10 dollars for Tom Robinson's family since at the time, Tom's wife, Helen, was having trouble finding work. During the trial, when the courtroom was too packed for the children to find seats, Reverend Sykes lets the kids sit with him up in the colored balcony and even saves their seats for them. Miss Stephanie Crawford[ edit ] Stephanie Crawford is the neighborhood gossip who claimed that she saw Boo Radley from her bedroom standing outside of her cleaned window one night.
Crawford is one of the first on the scene after a loud gunshot is heard behind the Radley house. Because she is the neighborhood gossip, it is unwise to think of anything that she says as true, because most of the time it is not true at all. She is a friend of Alexandra Hancock.
She is thrilled to pass on gossip to the kids about Boo Radley. She claimed to have witnessed Bob Ewell's threatening Atticus at the Post Office corner as she was returning from the local Jitney Jungle grocery store. In the film, she takes the place of Rachel Haverford and is now Dill's aunt. She drank neat whiskey heavily after seeing a rattlesnake coiled in her closet, on her washing, when she hung her negligee up. Even though she can be very hard to deal with, she truly does love her nephew.
Her family name, in the legends of Maycomb County, is synonymous with jackass. She is also a Southern Belle. In the film, she is not a character and Miss Stephanie takes her place as Dill's aunt. She is spoken about a few times. She has three children. Employed by Link Deas following the death of her husband, she is repeatedly harassed by Bob Ewell when traveling to work.
Upon learning of this, Deas threatens Ewell, forcing him to stop. She is an example of how one person's actions can have an effect on a lot of people and she elucidates the hardships that surround the Tom Robinson case.
When the children try to catch a view of "Boo" late one night through a window, he shoots over their heads with a shotgun albeit thinking he was aiming at a black person. Nathan also cements up the knothole in which Arthur leaves little gifts for the children. On the other hand, he helps Miss Maudie by saving some of her belongings when her house is on fire. He is more present than his brother, but equally mysterious. Jessie[ edit ] Jessie is Mrs.
She is the woman who shoos the children out when Mrs. Dubose has her fits, and she seems to care enormously for Mrs. When the story begins, Jem's idea of bravery is simply touching the side of the Radley house and then only because "In all his life, Jem had never declined a dare. Dubose's fight with addiction, and from Scout's confrontation with the mob at the jail, among others.
And along the way, he grows from a boy who drags his sister along as a co-conspirator to a young gentleman who protects his Scout and tries to help her understand the implications of the events around her.
His own sister finds Jem a genuinely likeable boy, if sometimes capable of "maddening superiority. He idolizes Atticus and would rather risk personal injury than disappoint his father. As he grows older, he begins to do what is right even though his decision may not be popular. For instance, when Dill sneaks into Scout's bedroom after running away from home, Jem can only say, "'You oughta let your mother know where you are'" and makes the difficult decision to involve Atticus.
Afterward, he's temporarily exiled by his friends, but he maintains the rightness of his decision without apology. Like many adolescents, Jem is idealistic. Even after Atticus' long explanation about the intricacies of the Tom Robinson case, Jem is unable to accept the jury's conviction.