How does Dill lose his innocence?

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Dill loses his innocence by witnessing Mr. Gilmer's disrespect toward Tom Robinson during the trial. Dill is disgusted by Mr. Gilmer's disrespectful treatment of Tom and bursts into tears. Later on, Dill witnesses Tom Robinson's wrongful conviction and struggles to accept the presence of racial discrimination and injustice in his community.

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Dill is depicted as a sensitive adolescent in To Kill a Mockingbird, and he loses his innocence in chapter 19 after listening to Mr. Gilmner disrespect Tom Robinson during his cross-examination.

During the Tom Robinson trial, Dill sits with Scout and Jem in the African American balcony, where they...

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Dill is depicted as a sensitive adolescent in To Kill a Mockingbird, and he loses his innocence in chapter 19 after listening to Mr. Gilmner disrespect Tom Robinson during his cross-examination.

During the Tom Robinson trial, Dill sits with Scout and Jem in the African American balcony, where they watch Atticus valiantly defend his client, Tom, in front of a racist jury and audience. In chapter 19, Tom testifies that Mayella asked Tom to come into the Ewell house to do her a favor. Mayella attempted to kiss Tom, Bob Ewell arrived and saw what she was doing, and Tom quickly ran out of the house. Following Tom's testimony, Mr. Gilmer cross-examines him, and Tom expresses that he felt sorry for Mayella. This is a "mistake," and Mr. Gilmer capitalizes on this and begins disrespecting Tom by calling him "boy."

During Mr. Gilmer's cross-examination, Dill begins to cry uncontrollably, unable to fathom how one person could be so disrespectful to another. Thus, in becoming truly aware of racial discrimination for the first time, Dill loses his childhood innocence. Jem makes Scout walk Dill out of the courtroom, and Dill explains why he could not stop crying: he was upset because of "That old Mr. Gilmer doin' him thataway, talking so hateful to him." Dill goes on to tell Scout,

I don't care one speck. It ain't right, somehow it ain't right to do 'em that way. Hasn't anybody got any business talkin' like that—it just makes me sick.

As Dill settles down, Dolphus Raymond overhears him and offers Dill a sip of Coca-Cola, seeming to understand Dill's reaction. Later, Tom Robinson's wrongful conviction further contributes to Dill's loss of innocence.

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