Marcus it is…. Like somethin’ asleep wrapped up

Marcus CrawfordDecember 15, 2017Period 6To Kill a MockingbirdSomeone once said, “Maturity doesn’t mean age. It means sensitivity, manners, and how you react”. To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel based in a small town named Maycomb, Alabama. Atticus, a lawyer, and Scout and Jem’s father defended a black man named Tom Robinson who was accused of rape by a white woman. Although Atticus lost the trial, the lessons taught Jem and Scout about the real world. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem became more mature, especially after witnessing the injustice of the Tom Robinson trial. A main theme of Jem’s coming of age was his realization that his assumptions of people were wrong. For example, Jem thought his father was weak and boring. In spite of Atticus being “feeble”, he was still able to shoot the rabid dog dead in one shot. Scout wanted to tell everyone that Atticus can do this, but Jem recognized that if Atticus was proud of it, he would have told them. “Don’t say anything about it, Scout,” ….. “I reckon if he’d wanted us to know it, he’da told us. If he was proud of it, he’da told us.”  Although Jem thought his father was a hero for being “One-Shot Finch” and knew his dad was more than just a boring person, he ironically told Scout not to say anything.  “Atticus is a gentleman, just like me!” When Jem said this to Scout, this was the first sign of Jem becoming a mature, young man. In this point in time in the novel, Jem was starting to realize that his assumptions of his father were incorrect and he shouldn’t pre-judge people and that gentlemen don’t need to brag about their accomplishments.An important event in the novel and in Jem’s growth was the conviction of Tom Robinson. In Jem’s opinion, the evidence was clear that Tom was innocent. He thought that there was no way that the jury would find him guilty, but they did. This was hard on Jem because the people he knew all of his life, the people whom he thought of highly, found Tom guilty only because he was black. Jem was very disappointed in their decision. Jem said, “It’s like bein’ a caterpillar in a cocoon that’s what it is…. Like somethin’ asleep wrapped up in a warm place. I always thought Maycomb folks were the best folks in the world, least that’s what they seemed like”. In this quote, Jem used a simile when he compared himself to a caterpillar in a cocoon. Jem meant that when he was younger, in the “cocoon”, he didn’t really know what was really going on in Maycomb. He believed that everyone was friendly towards everyone. However, after Tom was found guilty, he broke free of the cocoon, and he understood the reality of his town.Another sign of Jem’s maturity was that he was able to look at the world from someone else’s point of view. Before the Tom Robinson trial, Jem thought that it was odd that Boo Radley never came outside of his house. However, after the Tom Robinson case, he comprehended that the people of Maycomb weren’t perfect people, and they didn’t live in a perfect place. “I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all this time… it’s because he wants to stay inside.” Situational irony is presented because, after all the times that Jem made fun of or tormented Boo, he now had a mature understanding of why Boo never came out of his house. Jem turned a corner in his maturity level after the Tom Robinson trial because he was devastated by the injustice of Maycomb.In To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem showed that maturity is not about age. He realized that people may not be what they seem, and yet he displayed sensitivity and empathy and grew to have a better understanding of the world around him.