Harper Lee's character Jem (Jeremy) Finch, from her famous novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, is very interesting because during the course of the novel, he undergoes a great maturing process. Through this process, he begins to understand all the events, which are occurring around him. There are many events that affect this maturing process and cause it to speed up. Throughout the course of the book, Jem realizes how real life really is. All these events can be summarized into three groups; the events directly related to his fathers (Atticus) trial to defend a black man in a racist community in the 1930's, the events which are not related to the trial, and the group which is a combination of both groups and all the events in the novel.
When To Kill a Mockingbird begins, Jem is ten years old; at the end of the book, he is thirteen years old. Jem lives in Maycomb County, Alabama, during the time of the Great Depression. Jem lives with his father, Atticus, his sister Jean Louise or Scout and their black housekeeper, Calpurnia during the day. Atticus is a prominent lawyer of the community, and is working on an important trial. Jem does not learn about Atticus" assignment until it becomes obvious that Atticus is acting differently due to it. There was a great deal of stress on Atticus during the whole course of the trial, partly from it being such a hard case to win, partly from Bob Ewell's harassment and partly from Jem and Scout being in danger. Bits of these reasons were reflected onto Jem, and he became very concerned for the safety of his father. He doesn't quite know how to deal with it, so he tries to take control and help Atticus along by advising his younger sister, Scout what to do or what not to do, and to cheer her up when she is sad. He is faced with new problems he never knew existed in his hometown, such as racism and discrimination. Racism is abundant in Maycomb, however Jem never thought about it until now.