These Jem Finch quotes with page numbers help us understand the character deeper.
Jem Finch, the iconic character from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, said some funny and touching things. Here are some of the best quotes with page numbers so you can look them up and get inspired!
Read on to discover 50+ amazing Jem Finch quotes that will make you think about life differently.
Jem Finch Quotes Chapters 1-5 With Page Numbers
“You don’t have to learn much out of books, it’s like if you want to learn about cows, you go milk one.”
~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, (Character: Jem Finch), Chapter 2, Page 20
Meaning: This quote from To Kill A Mockingbird is a reminder that the best way to learn is through experience. By milking a cow, you can understand the process and develop skills in doing it yourself. This quote encourages us to go out and try things for ourselves, to not just rely on books or lectures for our education.. Experiences are just as valuable, and may even be more so in learning different skills. With that said, it’s important to seek both kinds of education from books and real-life experience. That way, you can gain a full understanding of any topic or skill.
“I thought I wanted to be a lawyer but I ain’t so sure now!”
~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, (Character: Jem Finch), Chapter 5, Page 55
Meaning: In “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the character of Atticus Finch is a lawyer who believes in justice and equality. His son, Jem, is inspired by her father’s work and declares that he wants to be a lawyer. However, when Jem witnesses the injustice of racism firsthand during the Tom Robinson trial, he begins to doubt his ambitions.
“Atticus ain’t ever whipped me since I can remember. I want to keep it that way.”
~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, (Character: Jem Finch), Chapter 6, Page 63
Meaning: This quote from the book To Kill A Mockingbird speaks to the value of respect and how it should be earned and maintained. Jem is referring to her father, Atticus, who has never physically punished him. He wants to maintain that relationship, so she strives to act in a way that deserves his respect. This quote implies that respect should be earned, not given away freely and that it should be maintained through proper behavior. It is a reminder that respect is a two-way street and that one should strive to respect others to be respected in return.
“Did she die free?” asked Jem.
“As the mountain air,” said Atticus.
~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, (Character: Jem Finch and Atticus Finch), Chapter 11, Page 127
Meaning: This quote from To Kill A Mockingbird is about Mrs. Dubose’s freedom from painkillers before her death. It speaks to the idea that freedom cannot be taken away from someone but rather something that must be held onto and fought for. Atticus’s response to Jem’s question reveals that even in death, freedom can be maintained and that even in death, one can be free.
“Jem was standing in a corner of the room, looking like the traitor he was. “Dill, I had to tell him,” he said. “You can’t run three hundred miles off without your mother knowin’.”
~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, (Character: Jem Finch), Chapter 14, Page 160
Meaning: In this quote from To Kill A Mockingbird, Jem is explaining to Dill why he had to tell their parents that Dill ran away. It speaks to the importance of responsibility and honesty, even in moments of difficulty. Jem knows that running away without letting his mother know is wrong, and he feels like a traitor for having to tell her. The quote highlights Jem’s understanding that even though it may not be easy, it’s important, to be honest and take responsibility for our actions.
“Don’t see how any jury could convict on what we heard.”~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, (Character: Jem Finch), Chapter 21, Page 238
Meaning: Jem Finch speaks this quote from To Kill A Mockingbird after their father, Atticus Finch, has just completed his defense of Tom Robinson. The quote is Jem’s reaction to the evidence presented in court, which he believes to be so compelling that no jury could find Tom guilty. This quote speaks to Jem’s innocence and naivety about how the justice system works, as he is unaware that the jury could still find Tom guilty due to racism and prejudice. It also speaks to Jem’s admiration of his father’s moral courage and integrity in standing up for what is right, despite the potential consequences.
“How could they do it, how could they?” “I don’t know, but they did it. 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.”
~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, (Character: Jem Finch and Atticus Finch), Chapter 22, Page 243
“Atticus says you can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family, an’ they’re still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge ‘em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don’t.”
~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, (Character: Jem Finch), Chapter 23, Page 256
Meaning: This quote from To Kill a Mockingbird emphasizes the importance of family, even if one does not necessarily get along with them. Atticus emphasizes that family is an inescapable part of a person’s life. And that one should not be too prideful to acknowledge them, no matter how difficult. It is important to remember that family is important, even if one does not always see eye-to-eye.
“If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I’m beginning to understand something. 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.”
~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, (Character: Jem Finch), Chapter 23, Page 259
Meaning: This quote reflects the reality of human nature and the need for people to get along with each other, regardless of their differences. The quote suggests that when people are all the same, they can still find ways to dislike each other, which is why Boo Radley has stayed inside his house for so long. The quote reminds us that we should strive to be more accepting and understanding of each other despite our differences for a more peaceful and harmonious society.
Quotes About Jem Finch
“Jem, see if you can stand in Bob Ewell’s shoes a minute. I destroyed his last shred of credibility at that trial, if he had any to begin with. The man had to have some kind of comeback, his kind always does. So if spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayella Ewell one extra beating, that’s something I’ll gladly take. He had to take it out on somebody and I’d rather it be me than that houseful of children out there.”
~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, (Character: Atticus Finch), Chapter 23, Page 249
“Before Jem looks at anyone else he looks at me, and I’ve tried to live so I can look squarely back at him.”
~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, (Character: Atticus Finch), Chapter 30, Page 314
“He turned out the light and went into Jem’s room. He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.”
~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, (Character: Scout Finch as the narrator), Chapter 31, Page 323
Jem Finch’s Character Description
Jem Finch is Scout’s brother and best friend in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Jem is an idealistic, courageous boy who matures throughout the novel as he learns to face the realities of life. He is impulsive and daring but also thoughtful and protective of his younger sister Scout. Despite being confronted with evil and injustice in the trial of Tom Robinson, Jem remains an anchor of strength for Scout throughout their adventures.
His growth from a nine-year-old boy to a young man is symbolic of learning to accept the complexity of life. Jem Finch is an inspiring and influential character whose story encourages readers to embrace maturity and justice.
To Kill A Mockingbird is one of the most controversial books. Why is it hated and loved?