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Why does Scout fight her cousin Francis after the Christmas dinner at Finch's Landing...

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rajdarshani | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted May 19, 2011 at 10:41 PM via web

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Why does Scout fight her cousin Francis after the Christmas dinner at Finch's Landing in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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

Posted May 20, 2011 at 12:09 AM (Answer #1)

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Scout's antagonistic cousin, Francis Hancock, "the most boring child I ever met," made the mistake of repeatedly taunting her with the epithet "nigger-lover"--referring to Atticus. Scout wasn't quite sure what it meant, but she could tell from Francis' tone that it wasn't good. But Francis kept it up, running into the kitchen each time, where he was protected by Aunt Alexandra. So Scout waited patiently, pretending to take a passive stance, until Francis made the mistake of going out into the yard, beyond the scope of Alexandra's protection. When he thought Scout "sufficiently subdued," he once again 

...crooned softly, "Nigger-lover..."
     This time I split my knuckle to the bone on his front teeth.

Scout received a spanking from her Uncle Jack for her pugilistic display, but after Scout explained her reasons to him, Uncle Jack was ready to deal out some punishment to Francis himself.


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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted May 22, 2011 at 11:57 PM (Answer #2)

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This question has already been asked and answered right here on eNotes.  Here is a link for you:  http://www.enotes.com/to-kill-a-mockingbird/q-and-a/why-does-cousin-francis-tell-scout-about-dills-120681

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