In relation to Dill, what pessimistic note does Dolphus Raymond cast in To Kill a Mockingbird? What is the implication of the remark?(In Chapter 20)

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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After Scout is forced to escort the distraught Dill from the courtroom after witnessing the prosecutor's mistreatment of Tom, they encounter Dolphus Raymond outside, sipping from a straw from a bottle hidden by a sack. Dolphus is able to calm Dill, and he gives him a pull from his drink. Dolphus reveals his secret to the children: It is not whiskey, but Coca-Cola. Scout finds "this sinful man... fascinating," but Dolphus soon turns their friendly encounter serious. Dolphus tells Dill that once he gets older, he will become more hardened by the hatred around him, and that

"... things'll strike him as being--not quite right, say, but he won't cry, not when he gets a few years on him."

Dill's tears over the treatment shown Tom in the courtroom won't come later: He won't

     "Cry about the simple hell people give other people--without even thinking. Cry about the hell white people give colored folks, without even stopping to think that they're people, too."

Scout wonders about which of the "two fires" she

... wanted to jump into: Mr. Raymond or the 5th Judicial Circuit Court.

The children choose to leave Dolphus and return to the courtroom.

Sources:

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