The Snow-on-the-Mountain

October 12, 2011
By ranjani12 BRONZE, Poughkeepsie, New York
ranjani12 BRONZE, Poughkeepsie, New York
4 articles 4 photos 1 comment

It is the familiar backdrop of the living room and the two people alongside that allow him to clear the clutter of emotions quickly building a fort to prohibit clear thoughts. The fiery pit exuding an air of calm and warmth, the soft whisper of the frequently turning pages, and the slow rate at which the sky is painted with a fresh layer of black ink are all vital to his sanity. Looking around, he sees that this is the only aspect of life that can’t be altered and morphed into other people’s views and discriminations. The irony of the situation is that most of the discrimination and prejudice originated from the owner of the very blossom on his lap.
After receiving his wholly unappreciated gift and the attached, as well as unwanted, fury, Jem could only believe that this was the last of the onslaughts of Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose. The flower itself displays a symbol of courage and compound purity. Jem could only stare at the smooth, protective outer coating of the flower and wonder how its owner could be perceived as a “lady” through his father’s eye even after the horrific events that took place. As he tries to crawl into his father’s skin to understand his reasoning behind Mrs. Dubose, Jem surprisingly gets a glimpse of what he may have been ignoring, the morphine of course! He decides that the drugged hazes Mrs. Dubose had been captured in were the root cause of everything, her rudeness, her ever scowling face. Just listening to himself babble started boiling the blood to a scorching level disintegrating the. How could he think of excuses for her behavior towards his sister and him, that horrible disapproving tone that never left her voice? No, she will not be pitied or seen as a martyr because of her so called accomplishment, it was just another show of this false dedication. Inside, she was brewing with a sea full of hateful and judgmental remarks spiteful enough to bring a person down to the ground. She deserved no sympathy for she was an old he**-devil, continuously beating his family for things out of their control, picking out their flaws like a crow, and then leaving them hurt from the stab wounds of words. They were left vulnerable under the thunderstorm of resentment, betrayal, prejudice, the concoction that can leave even the strongest families begging for a way out. Never would this woman achieve a place in his heart, he is looking for acceptance and love contrary to her views of life.
At a passing glance, Jem’s face would have been of a deep thinker or perhaps entranced daydreamer, but once scrutinized, his face resembles more of a palette of emotions ready to be painted. One look from Scout and he knew she will understand everything that happened today. He appreciated her understanding and acceptance as always, it supports him and his actions. Although he knows his father means well, he is left puzzled by his father’s enigmatic ways at times. This never stops his ambition to follow in his father’s lead to understanding and accepting the views of others. Jem feels proud of the way he’s been, for the most part, in life and will now use the example of sick, old Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose as a cold bucket of water on the face during needy times. As Jem takes a lingering whiff of the crisp mountain smell from the flower, he reaches into the recesses of his functioning mind, trying to vacuum any thoughts and feelings on the subject out, depositing them in a delicate balance on the mountaintops of the snowy petals. Unable to hold his breath captive any longer, he lets the prisoners out all at once; being the traitors that they were, the prisoners disappeared along with the flower and everything on top.

The author's comments:
This is based off of the scene in the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, after Mrs. Dubose gives Jem a flower from her recently destroyed garden. I tried to explore Jem's feelings and his thought process.

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