Student Essay on Racism Revealed to Jem

Racism Revealed to Jem by Harper Lee

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Throughout the book To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, one of the main characters, Jem, learns the harsh reality of racim and how cruel people can be when dealing with others. Jem begins to understand that racism is an extreme issue when Judge Taylor appoints Tom Robinson's case to Atticus. Jem finally comes to see that "Judge Taylor naming Atticus to defend [Tom] was no accident," (215), and that Atticus was the only one who could make the jury think. Jem realizes racism is a much bigger issue than it seems, and understands that Atticus, due to his internal strength, is one of the few people that can publicaly stand against racism. After Tom's conviction, Jem is beyond appalled and cannot believe people can be so cruel. Jem cannot understand how the jury can call Tom guilty, but hears from his father that "they've done it before, and they did it tonight, and they'll do it again, and when they do it--seems that only children weep" (213). Jem feels that regardless of the people of Maycomb knowing the wrongfulness of racism, they will naver act upon it or try to fix it. While talking to Miss Maudie, Jem discovers that there is very little he himself can do to try and reslove racism issues. At one point in time, Jem "thought Maycomb folks were the best in the world," (215) but when he comes to see that they are far from the best, he begins to feel like "a caterpillar in a cocoon," (215) knowing he can't change the Maycomb folks. Jem did believe the Maycomb citizens were all out wonderful, up until they give him reason to think otherwise. Jem's maturity is a valueble part of To Kill A Mockingbird becauseit teaches never to feel over knowledged, because there is always an unseen point of view.