20 Important Jem Finch Quotes From To Kill A Mockingbird

Divya Raghav
Mar 01, 2024 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Mar 10, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
A copy of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird.
Age: 0-99
Read time: 5.7 Min

Jeremy Atticus Finch (Jem Finch) is one of the main characters of the novel 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

'To Kill A Mockingbird' is the most famous novel written by Harper Lee. The book was published in the year 1960.

Jem Finch is the brother of Scout, the narrator of the novel. Jem Finch is older than Scout by four years. To describe the personality of Jem Finch is not a tough job. He is likable, brave, noble, and idealistic. He is also curious and protective. Scout, as she remembers, watches her brother grow and be more sensible over the course of three years throughout 'To Kill A Mockingbird' as his life begins a new chapter. As Jem grows up, he develops the sense of morality he possesses as time passes by. Scout's beloved brother, Jem Finch, also wants to be just like his father, Atticus, and wants to follow his father's pathway into practicing law.

'To Kill A Mockingbird' is one of the most read books in history. Featuring characters that we all remember including Scout and Jem, Atticus, Tom Robinson, Boo Radley, Mrs Dubose, and others, it became a hit as soon as it was published and it is read in middle and high schools all around the world. It is a classic book of modern American literature. It has also won the Pulitzer Prize. The book has been adapted into a movie and a screenplay that has been performed every year in the hometown of the author, Harper Lee, since 1990. Robert Mulligan's movie adaptation even won an Academy Award in 1962!

Harper Lee also wrote a book called 'Go Set A Watchman'. This tells the story of Scout (Jem's younger sister) in adulthood. The book was published on 14 July 2015 and sadly, Harper Lee died shortly after in February 2016.

Below, we have collated Jem's quotes about Boo Radley, Tom Robinson, children, prejudice, and more for you to read. You will find quotes where Jem is talking to his father, his sister, and others. You can also find quotes that will show that Jem's maturity was good enough to handle and understand the truth of some difficult situations despite his young age.

It can be seen throughout the novel that, even though he is considered to be brave, Jem is not stupid. He won't do anything stupid enough to get himself or others around him in trouble. The quotes below will hopefully help you understand the lovable character from the story 'To Kill A Mockingbird' better. If you liked reading these, you can also check out these Tom Robinson quotes or Atticus quotes too.

Quotes By Jem Finch

Old books on a wooden shelf.

In this section, you will find some of the best of Jem's quotes.

1. "I thought I wanted to be a lawyer but I ain’t so sure now!"

- Jem Finch, 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

2. "Dill, I had to tell him. You can’t run three hundred miles off without your mother knowin’."

- Jem Finch, 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

3. "My sister ain't dirty and I ain't scared of you."

- Jem Finch, 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

4. "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."

- Jem Finch, 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

5. "Scout: Why couldn't I mash him?

Jem: Because they don't bother you."

- 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

6. "If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other?"

- Jem Finch, 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

7. "Atticus ain’t ever whipped me since I can remember. I want to keep it that way."

- Jem Finch, 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

8. "Jem: Did she die free?

Atticus: As the mountain air."

- 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

Jem Finch Quotes That Describe His Character

Here, we have collected quotes from various chapters of the book by Jem Finch for you.

9. "Don’t see how any jury could convict on what we heard."

- Jem Finch, 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

10. "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."

- Jem Finch, 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

11. "Dill: How do you know a match don't hurt him?

Jem: Turtles can't feel, stupid."

- 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

12. "No sir, they oughta do away with juries. He wasn't guilty in the first place and they said he was."

- Jem Finch, 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

13. "If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other?"

- Jem Finch, 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

14. "Jem: Atticus... How could they do it, how could they?

Atticus: I don't know, but they did it. They've done it before & they did it tonight and they'll do it again and when they do... it seems that only children weep."

- 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

Quotes Spoken To Jem Finch

In this section, we have collected the quotes that have been addressed to and for Jem by the supporting characters, including his father Atticus.

15. "Before Jem looks at anyone else he looks at me, and I’ve tried to live so I can look squarely back at him."

- Atticus Finch, 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

16. "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."

- Atticus Finch, 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

17. "Shh... I think that was her way of telling you—everything’s all right now, Jem, everything’s all right. You know, she was a great lady."

- Atticus Finch, 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

18. "You are too young to understand it... but sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whiskey bottle in the hand of - oh, of your father."

- Miss Maudie, 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

19. "When it was time to play Boo's big scene, Jem would sneak into the house, steal the scissors from the sewing machine drawer when Calpurnia's back was turned, then sit in the swing and cut up newspapers."

- Scout Finch, 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

20. "I wanted you to see something about her—I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand."

- Atticus Finch, 'To Kill A Mockingbird'.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Jem Finch quotes, then why not take a look at these Harper Lee quotes or Scout quotes for more quotes to learn about from 'To Kill A Mockingbird'?

Main image credit: On The Run Photo / Shutterstock.com

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Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

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