In To Kill a Mockingbird, how are Dill and Tom Robinson similar?

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Dill Harris and Tom Robinson share some similar character traits in the story. Both Dill Harris and Tom Robinson are both powerless outcasts, who are at the mercy of others. Dill is an unwanted child, who struggles to gain his parents' affection. Dill is continually shipped off to his aunt's home in Maycomb during the summer and laments his depressing home life. Similarly, Tom Robinson is a disenfranchised black man, who is viewed with contempt by society after he is falsely accused of assaulting and raping Mayella Ewell. Similar to Dill, Tom lacks the power and authority to alter his situation and is treated as an outcast following Mayella's false accusation. In addition to being powerless characters, both Dill and Tom are symbolic mockingbirds. Both characters are depicted as being harmless, sensitive, and vulnerable. Dill loses his childhood innocence after witnessing racial injustice firsthand and Tom Robinson is wrongly convicted of a crime he did not commit. Both Dill and Tom cannot protect themselves from the harsh realities of Maycomb’s racist society. Both Dill Harris and Tom Robinson are also associated with the Finch family. Dill is best friends with Jem and Scout, and Atticus is Tom Robinson's lawyer.

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Dill and Tom Robinson are similar in that they are both disenfranchised.  Neither has any power in society.  As a child, Dill is at the mercy of his parents.  As a black man, Tom is at the mercy of whites. 

Dill leads an elaborate fantasy life to cover up the fact that he is unwanted in his family.  His father is gone, and his mother remarried and does not have time for him.  His only refuge is Maycomb in the summer with the Finches.

Tom Robinson is a kind man who helped Mayella.  His biggest crime was feeling sorry for her when he saw how she was treated.  This was unacceptable in his society, because blacks were supposed to be inferior to whites and by feeling sorry for her he raised himself above her.  Once accused, there is nothing Tom can do.  Even though he physically could not have committed the crime, he knows he will be convicted because it is considered improper for a white woman and a black man to have a relationship.

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