What new facts does Dill tell about his father in chapter 4 of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Dill does not have a pleasant home life.  His mother seems to ignore him, especially when she remarries.  His father is out of the picture.  Dill therefore makes up a lot of things about his father, to fill in the gaps and make up for the pain he feels from not really knowing anything about his father.

In chapter 4, Dill is proud of the fact that he rode the train.  When Dill arrives, he says he has “seen his father.”

Dill's father was taller than ours, he had a black beard (pointed), and was president of the L & N Railroad. (ch 4)

Of course, this is just another whopper.  Dill tells these stories because the truth is too depressing.  The Finch children know they are not true, of course, but they usually accept them because they realize that Dill’s not having a father is a big deal to him.  Jem’s only response is when Dill says he helped engineer and Jem replies, “In a pig's ear you did, Dill” (ch 4).  He tries to protect Dill by not pressing him and asking him any questions about his father.




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