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Describe Jem and Scout's relationship through these chapters as Jem matures. Why did...

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kajwlakl | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 23, 2010 at 2:19 PM via web

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Describe Jem and Scout's relationship through these chapters as Jem matures. Why did Dill run away from home back to Maycomb?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 24, 2010 at 12:17 AM (Answer #1)

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As Jem enters puberty, he becomes more distant and short-tempered with Scout. When he tells his sister to "start bein' a girl and acting right!", Scout bursts into tears and seeks solace with Calpurnia. Scout also misses Dill, who has not arrived yet for his regular summer stay. Jem and Scout are able to agree on their dislike for Aunt Alexandra, who unites them when she comes to stay with them at the end of Chapter 12. But the two get into a fistfight in Chapter 14, and Atticus has to step in. Things get better later that night when Dill makes his appearance--from underneath Scout's bed. Dill has run away from home, and he claims it is because of his "new father," who has chained him and left him to die in their Meridian basement. Since Dill has exaggerated so often about his father, it's hard to get a straight story about what happened. We do know that he feels unloved by his parents, who

"ain't mean. They buy me everything I want... They kiss you and hug you good night and good mornin' and goodbye and tell you they love you--"

But Dill's parents never spend any time with him, so he decides to head to Maycomb where he feels love and companionship from Jem and Scout.

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