Describe Jem and Scout's relationship throughout To Kill a Mockingbird as Jem matures. Why did Dill run away from home back to Maycomb?

As Jem matures, his relationship with Scout suffers and the siblings are continually at odds. Scout explains that Jem has become more aloof, imperious, and irritable than ever before. Scout responds by spending less time with Jem and even gets into a physical altercation with him in chapter 14. Dill runs away from home because he does not feel loved or appreciated by his parents.

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As the novel progresses, Jem enters adolescence. He is often moody and tries to boss Scout around as if he is her father, not her brother. These changes bother Scout and create a distance between the two of them. Atticus and Calpurnia see what is going on and counsel Scout...

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As the novel progresses, Jem enters adolescence. He is often moody and tries to boss Scout around as if he is her father, not her brother. These changes bother Scout and create a distance between the two of them. Atticus and Calpurnia see what is going on and counsel Scout to give Jem space to deal with his struggles. When Scout asks Atticus if she has to do what Jem says, which Jem has told her she must, Atticus tells her that she only must if Jem can force her to do so. Atticus knows that Scout is willing and able to fight and stick up for herself, so he doesn't worry about Jem pushing her around. Nevertheless, tensions erupt as the two siblings renegotiate their relationship.

Dill runs away from his home and comes to Maycomb because he feels more at home with the Finches than with his own family. After a series of entertaining lies, he confesses that he feels unloved and unwanted by his parents and as if he is in the way. He states that his parents act on the surface as if everything is fine. They hug him and they tell him that they love him. They also buy him everything he wants. But they are always trying to get him out of their hair so that they don't have to deal with him. He tells Scout,

"They buy me everything I want, but it’s now—you’ve-got-it-go-play-with-it. You’ve got a roomful of things. I-got-you-that-book-so-go-read-it." Dill tried to deepen his voice. "You’re not a boy. Boys get out and play baseball with other boys, they don’t hang around the house worryin’ their folks."

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When Jem hits puberty, he becomes moody and distant from Scout. Jem also begins antagonizes her and Scout states that his "maddening superiority" is unbearable. According to Scout, Jem is primarily interested in reading by himself and only shares his knowledge for her "edification and instruction." In response to Jem's irritable personality, Scout begins spending more time with Calpurnia and Miss Maudie. In chapter 14, Jem attempts to chastise Scout for antagonizing Aunt Alexandra and even threatens to spank her. Scout responds by punching him in the mouth, and Atticus is forced to break them up. Shortly after their physical altercation, Scout steps on what she thinks is a snake, and both siblings are astonished to discover that Dill is underneath the bed.

Initially, Dill tells an elaborate, fabricated story about how his new father chained him to the basement and left him to die. Dill says that he was fortunate enough to escape the basement and joined an animal show, which eventually traveled to Maycomb. Dill then tells the actual story and explains to Jem and Scout that he stole some money and caught a train from Meridian to Maycomb. Later that night, Dill tells Scout that his parents were not interested in him. Dill feels unloved and believes that his parents do not want him around, which is why he chose to run away to Maycomb.

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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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