Characters in to kill a mockingbird respond differently to different situations. My essay will deal with Jem and Atticus two very strong characters in the book and both of them respond to challenges differently. I chose Jem and Atticus because they are both very thoughtful and caring characters in the book and both play a very major part in the book. The Situation I will be dealing with is the trial because both men have to over come some challenges.
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Atticus is a very sophisticated character in the book, “To Kill a Mocking Bird”. He plays a major role in the book and has to over come many different challenges. The challenges I will talk about are the situations leading up to the trial and the trial.
In the events leading up to the trial he is sitting at the county jail “protecting” and reading to Tom Robinson. (The defendant) Many different men wanting to kill him and Tom Robinson approach because they are angry Tom raped a girl. Atticus is very cool-headed and handles this very well. He talks to the men and is also helped by his daughter, nine-year-old Scout. He talks to the men and calm them down and make them realize what they are doing is very unreasonable. He tells them that there will be a fair trial for Tom and Mayella.
In the trial he is the defendants lawyer and he must over come assumptions by the accuser. Atticus during the trial was being yelled and pointed at by Mayella. He always kept a cool head and never got frustrated. He would calm her and make sure she felt safe around him. He had over come a challenge of getting Mayella to cope with him in the trial. Another challenge is getting a white jury to go in favor of a black man. In order for him to over come this challenge he must present forth very clear evidence and must feel confident and strong when supporting this evidence or the jury might not go for the detail he is putting forth.
Jem is another character going through many hardships coming up to the trial. In school he is being ridiculed for his dad supporting a black man and people calling his dad a nigger lover. He takes after his dad a lot and keeps a cool head even though it is very hard. When he goes out to find Atticus on the night he is watching Tom Robinson in the jail. Jem watches as cars and men file out with shotguns in their hands and see Atticus disappear in to the crowd. The challenge he must over come is fear and he does it very well. Scout, his sister, runs from the bushes to the jail because she doesn’t know how to stay cool under pressure and having fear washed all over her. Jem and his friend Dill run after Scout to be with her.
When the men tell Atticus to send Jem home, Jem must make a tough decision. Do what his father tells him or stand up and say no. He over comes the challenge and says no because he believes that he is a man now and can stand up for what he believes. I think his choice of staying and telling Atticus no is also because he wanted to protect Atticus from the men thinking that if he was there nothing would happen to them.
When Jem goes to the trial he is faced with many small problems but nothing very big. I think the first challenge he must over come is how to watch the trial. All of the seats are taken and the place is packed. He over comes this by getting help from Reverend Sykes and he gives them some seats in the colored balcony. He can over come many different challenges with the help of many others but I believe Jem is very capable of over coming many different challenges in many different ways.
Jem and Atticus are very similar in the way they over come challenges but each man is faced with very different situations. Both men have been affected in the challenges they have faced and it has made them who they are today. I believe Atticus overcame some very hard challenges when he was a kid and I believe that is why he is so cool headed when it comes to very stressful events, and Jem growing up is going to face hard challenges who will define him when he grows up. All in all both men are who they are by the challenges they have faced and how they have handled them.