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How does Dill react to this part of the trial in To Kill a Mockingbird? Why is this, in...

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narf887 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 30, 2011 at 11:13 AM via web

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How does Dill react to this part of the trial in To Kill a Mockingbird? Why is this, in your opinion?

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

Posted November 30, 2011 at 11:31 AM (Answer #1)

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Dill becomes very upset at the prosecutor's treatment of Tom Robinson during his cross-examination in Chapter 19 of To Kill a Mockingbird. Horace Gilmer repeatedly refers to Tom as "boy" and speaks disrespectfully to him.

"That old Mr. Gilmer doin' him thataway, talkin' so hateful to him--"

Unlike Jem and Scout, Dill has never been in a courtroom or seen a trial before, and he doesn't understand that part of Gilmer's job is to discredit the witness. But Dill objects to Gilmer's style, and he tells Scout that Atticus had not treated Mayella or her father in the same manner. Dolphus Raymond later explains that Dill's crying was because of the

"... hell white people give colored folks, without even stopping to think that they're people, too.

 

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