How does Harper Lee present Dill in this passage?
Dill is from the Mississippi, he is spending the summer in Maycomb with his aunt Rachael. His family was originally from Maycomb County, and his mother works for a photographer. His father is absent as Dill tells Scout and Jem that, “I haven’t got one.”
Dill told the children that his mother entered him for a beautiful child competition and won five dollars but judging by his appearance, “He wore blue linen shorts that buttoned to his shirt, his hair was snow white and stuck to his head like duck fluff.” Dill was probably lying. Dill holds the children respect, especially Jem’s when he tells them he ...view middle of the document...
” Initially sums up what Dill is, but it could describe Dill’s ‘curious’ appearance or his ‘curious’ behaviour.
“Thus we came to know Dill as a pocket Merlin, whose head teemed with eccentric plans, strange longings, and quaint fancies.” Dill was called a pocket Merlin because he thought up all their games and plays, and because he was the one who liked to do daring things (such as run up to the Radley house and touch it--to deliver a note to Boo through his window, etc), he was given this title.
What is the importance of Dill in the novel as a whole?
Dill’s real name is Charles Baker Harris; he is nearly seven at the beginning of the book and is a friend of Jem and Scout. When they first meet Jem tells Dill that his name is too long for his body (as Dill is very short). Dill comes to stay each summer with his Aunt Rachel, a neighbor of the Finches.
Dill is set in the book to ‘dare’ Jem to do things. It is he who suggests making Boo Radley “come out”. We see during the book Dill is unhappy at home with a new step father, and this may be a reason about why he fantasizes so much. We get a good insight into this towards the end of chapter 14, as Dill describes the way his parents ignore him. Dill gets given everything he asks for but he still feels unloved, unwanted and lonely.
Dill is very upset by the trial of Tom Robinson and the outcome leaves him upset and angry at the adults. Whilst Jem sees the injustice of the system, and wants to fight against by becoming a lawyer, Dill finds it pointless, he decides he wants to become a clown to make people laugh.