What does the quote that as people get older, they will "cry about the simple hell people give other people--without thinking" mean and does it resonate throughout the novel To Kill a Mockingbird?

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Posted on (Answer #1)

When Dill has to leave the courthouse because he gets sick to his stomach at the way Mr. Gilmer treats Tom Robinson, Mr. Dolphus Raymond comfort’s him by agreeing that it also makes him sick.

Mr. Glimer plays up the black versus white imbalance of power when he cross-examines Tom Robinson on the stand.  Dill has to leave, because it gives him a stomachache to see how Mr. Gilmer treats Tom with such disrespect and disdain, including calling him “boy.”

When the children go outside, they see that Mr. Dolphus Raymond, the man who lives with the Negroes and married a black woman while seeming to be drunk all the time, is waiting for them.

You aren't thin-hided, it just makes you sick, doesn't it?" (ch 19)

Raymond points out that when Dill is older, he won’t be as affected with the terrible ways people treat each other.  Scout does not understand.  Tom Robinson is a Negro, so he is being treated like one.  She is too young to see the problem, but Dill acutely feels it.  Raymond knows and understands this too.

Miss Jean Louise, you don't know your pa's not a run-of-the-mill man, it'll take a few years for that to sink in- you haven't seen enough of the world yet. (ch 20)

Raymond's quote about the Hell people put others through is significant to the book as a whole because one of the important themes is coming of age, and the other is prejudice and its effects.  The two themes collide in this scene, as we see that Dill is not just young enough to be bothered by racism but old enough to understand it.  Scout, on the other hand, does not get it.  She has not reached the point of being able to question society.


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