In the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, what page is the following quote on? “'The thing is, what I’m tryin‘ to say is—they do get on a lot better without me, I can’t help...

In the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, what page is the following quote on?

“'The thing is, what I’m tryin‘ to say is—they do get on a lot better without me, I can’t help them any. They ain’t mean. 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.'" 

1 Answer | Add Yours

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The quote is on page 189, when Dill is explaining why he ran away because his parents didn’t need him.

Books vary, but this quote is on page 189 in the To Kill a Mockingbird 50th Anniversary Edition Mass Market Paperback.  More useful, perhaps, is the fact that it is in Chapter 14, if you don't have that particular edition of the book.  It is at the very end of Chapter 14, so that makes it easy to find.

This incident occurs when Scout finds Dill under her bed. She is surprised to learn that he has run away from home.  Your quote involves Dill explaining that his mother and new stepfather feel that he should entertain himself so that they can go off on their own.  Scout is surprised by this, and she realizes how lonely Dill has been.

As Dill explained, I found myself wondering what life would be if Jem were different, even from what he was now; what I would do if Atticus did not feel the necessity of my presence, help and advice. Why, he couldn't get along a day without me. (Ch. 14)

In this incident, some of Dill’s cheerful outer shell cracks. This is a more serious side of Dill.  He is always telling whoppers about how his father is a train engineer or something, but here he learn that Dill longs for a family more than anything else. 

Scout and Jem have often felt disappointed in their father, because he is older than other fathers and doesn’t play football or drive a garbage truck or do something else equally interesting for a living.  However, Dill’s predicament reminds Scout that her father gives them a loving a stable family.  This is something not everyone else has.

The conversation at the end of the chapter is telling.

"Why do you reckon Boo Radley's never run off?"
Dill sighed a long sigh and turned away from me.
"Maybe he doesn't have anywhere to run off to...." (Ch. 14)

Dill runs away to Maycomb, and to the Finches, because there he feels safety, comfort, security, and love.  In the Finch family he sees what he wants.  Although the Finches do not have a mother, they have a home life that shows an attentive father.  This is something Dill has watched and envied.  He also knows his Aunt Rachel will be empathetic.  In her, he has a stable relationship.  In the Finches, he has friends.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,991 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question