d essaysTo Kill a Mockingbird – Complexity
To Kill a Mockingbird exhibits many characters and their roles in the city of Maycomb. Among the many characters, are Jem Finch, brother of Jean Louise Finch daughter of Atticus, and Arthur Radley a relative of Nathan Radley. All of the characters in the book demonstrate one-dimensional and three-dimensional tendencies but Jem and Arthur are those that provide the greatest insight to the latter.
Jem Finch is a three-dimensional character with symbols of success, virtue and an adverse personality in To Kill a Mockingbird. For example, in the beginning of the book, Jem was aggravated by the then taunting Dill Harris (a young visitor to Maycomb) so that Jem would touch the house of Radley. By touching the Radley house, he proved that he was not afraid and could take on any challenge. When such predicaments come Jem’s way he will usually be able to make the best of them successfully. In addition, Jem will lash out in complete contempt for a wrong against his moral conscience, such as Mrs. Dubose slinging blasphemy at Jem’s father. A good character must have a sense of morality to defend what is believed to be right, and Jem has this emblematic realism. But, a life-like character must have their weaknesses; and he displayed that on account of Mrs. Dubose’s harsh words.
Furthermore, in chapter eleven of To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem has to repent his wrongdoing by reading to Mrs. Dubose. Jem’s moral obligation takes precedence over his failure, revealing that Jem is a strong character and allows himself to be punished. While being disciplined, he responds benevolently but with quite a bit of quiet resentment — an idiosyncrasy that Jem carries with him throughout the book. Jem Finch has many qualities of a three-dimensional character: he is able to restrict human fear for success, and is penetrable easily by situations which effect honor and morality, but understands proper courses of action; all carefully thought about, he is a complex character.
Aside from Jem Finch, one of our three-dimensional personalities, there is Arthur Radley, also known as “Boo”, a home recluse whom has a very complex emotional side in To Kill a Mockingbird. For example, Arthur Radley would intermittently put objects important to him in a knothole, possibly for Jean and Jem Finch. Arthur has a large emotional welt within, trying to reach out and grab someone; but not in a harmful way — quite the contrary — he did so to feel alive. The act of giving these important gifts to the two also symbolizes a sense of need; Jem taking a gift shows acceptance toward Arthur at a emotional level and heals it slowly as a greater feeling of a presence results. In addition, in chapter eight, Arthur Radley put a blanket on Jean Finch while Ms. Maudie’s house was aflame.
Arthur displays how much he cares and can give to others, however he does not expect any outspoken gratitude, rather more emotional presence. Very few people in reality show this kind of personality but it reflects that many are afraid to use the quality because of misinterpretation. Moreover, Arthur’s tender care represents a man who needs someone to feel for or befriend yet he is hesitant, if not scared, to proceed any further with a relationship because of his reclusive asocial life style. Furthermore, at the end of To Kill a Mockingbird, after Arthur Radley saved Jem Finch from possible death following a run in with Bob Ewell (a grudge-holding bumpkin), Jean Finch meets Arthur and there is little reaction from him. Due to the lack of socialization, Arthur had little, if no knowledge, of how to react, painting a picture of an emotionless man walking back to reclusion with Jean. Because of this first time experience in decades by Arthur, he would never be seen again by Jean in view of the sobering and frightening experience which radiated the true side of human nature. Arthur Radley is a complex man with human problems that affects many in today’s society, and shows the mortal need of companionship even though Arthur never succeeds.
To Kill a Mockingbird divulges the different sides of human nature and emotions exquisitely in order for the book to be complete with believable characters. Jem Finch had, among others, success and a healthy mix of virtue and adverse characteristics. Jem showed a child that would result under the proper care of a parent. Arthur Radley however was the advent of a lonely childhood and adulthood thus showing social problems with speaking and emotional difficulty. Jem Finch and Boo Radley are indeed three-dimensional characters whom bring the story of To Kill a Mockingbird alive by making connections to its readers.
d essaysTo Kill a Mockingbird – Complexity