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Dill, who is widely believed to be based on Harper Lee's childhood friend, Truman Capote, provides some comic relief in a novel that is intricately woven with some serious themes. For example, the scene where the children are trying to make Boo Radley come out; among other things, Dill suggests that they offer to buy Boo an ice cream if he will appear. Another ill-fated attempt involves trying to get a note to him by means of a fishing pole. Scout and Jem come to look forward to Dill's arrival as part of the arrival of summer, and his departure is always bittersweet, coming as it does as the end of summertime and the start of the school year. One year after he declares his undying love for Scout, she pronounces herself devastated at his departure, and observes that she "stayed miserable for two days."
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