What are five quotes from Dill in To Kill A Mockingbird? What are five quotes about Dill from other characters?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Quotes by Dill:

Scout asks Dill about his father, and he replies,

I haven't got one.

Scout doesn't even understand this concept, but Jem accepts him into their little group after Dill blushes at Scout's questions.

When Dill arrives in Maycomb and is being introduced to the legend of the Radley family, the children try to decide how to make Boo come out. Jem uses the analogy of lighting a match under a turtle. Dill asks a provoking question that symbolically applies to Boo as well:

How do you know a match don't hurt him? ... Were you ever a turtle, huh?

When Dill arrives in chapter 4, he is full of tales and tries (unsuccessfully) to frighten Scout:

I mean I can smell somebody an' tell if they're gonna die. An old lady taught me how ... Jean—Louise—Finch, you are going to die in three days.

When trying to save Jem from getting in trouble with Atticus about losing his pants, Dill invents a terrible (and humorous) lie in chapter 6:

I won 'em from him ... We were playin' strip poker up yonder by the fishpool.

In chapter 14, Scout asks Dill why Boo has never run away from his house and confinement. Dill responds,

Maybe he doesn't have anywhere to run off to.

Quotes about Dill:

Dill is fascinated with the Radley Place from the beginning. In chapter 1, his love of stories combined with the legend captivates him:

The Radley Place fascinated Dill. In spite of our warnings and explanations it drew him as the moon draws water.

Dill is also quite a storyteller. He has been to see Dracula, and he tells the story with great animation to Jem and Scout. When he finishes, Scout notes that

When Dill had reduced Dracula to dust.

The children spend part of one summer acting out the Radley family. Dill is assigned the part of Old Mr. Radley, and Scout characterizes his performances this way:

Dill was a villain's villain: he could get into any character part assigned him, and appear tall if height was part of the devilry required. He was as good as his worst performance; his worst performance was Gothic.

When Dill is leaving in chapter 6, he rushes back to Scout:

We said good-bye, and Dill went inside the house. He evidently remembered he was engaged to me, for he ran back out and kissed me swiftly in front of Jem.

In chapter 14, Scout characterizes Dill this way:

Dill was off again. Beautiful things floated around in his dreamy head. He could read two books to my one, but he preferred the magic of his own inventions. He could add and subtract faster than lightning, but he preferred his own twilight world, a world where babies slept, waiting to be gathered like morning lilies.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Charles Baker "Dill" Harris acts as a foil to the children at times while also providing comic relief from some of the seriousness of the novel; yet, at other times he contrasts with the moral turpitude of the townspeople in his childhood innocence. 


In Chapter I, Scout describes Dill,

Dill was a curiosity.  He wore blue linen shorts that buttoned to his shirt, his hair was snow white and stuck to his head like duckfluff; he was a year my senior but I towered over him.  As he told us the old tale his blue eyes would lighten and darken; his laugh was sudden and happy; he habitually pulled at a cowlick in the center of his forehead.

Desiring Boo Radley to come outside, he accuses Jem of being afraid to go to the house. 

But Dill got him the third day, when he told Jem that folks in Meridian certainly weren't as afraid as the folks in Maycomb, that he'd never seen such scary folks as the ones in Maycomb.

In Chapter 4, on his next visit to Maycomb, Dill wears shorts with a belt now. And, Dill rides a train to Maycomb from Meridian:

Two days later Dill arrived in a blaze of glory:  he had ridden the train by himself....he had eaten dinner in the diner, he had seen two twins hitched together get off the train in Bay St. Louis and stuck to his story regardless of threats....

Later, in Chapter 6, Dill convinces Jem to peep in the Radley window to see Boo.  But, for all his bravado, Dill is an innocent:

Dill stopped and let Jem go ahead.  When Jem put his foot on the bottom step, the step squeaked.

After Jem looks in, a shadow appears on the porch that Scout sees and

Dill saw it next. He put his hands to his face.

In Chapter 20 as the children listen to the testimony, Scout accepts the cross-examination of Tom by Mr. Gilmer as normal for him; however, Dill, who is more naive that Atticus's children, cries at the injustice of Tom's interrogation. Seeing him, Mr. Dolpus Raymond remarks,

"Things haven't caught up with that one's instinct yet. Let him get a little older and he won't get sick and 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."



Imaginative, Dill fabricates an excuse for Jem's lack of pants when the neighbors come outside after hearing the Radley shotgun fire at Jem who peeps in the window:

"We were playin' strip poker up yonder by the fishpool." Ch. 6

During the trial, Scout explains that Mr. Gilmer is "supposed to act that way...he was cross--" but Dill cuts her off,

"Well, Mr. Finch didn't act that way to Mayella and old man Ewell when he cross-examined them.  The way that man called him 'boy' all the time and sneered at him, an' looked around at the jury every time he answered--" Ch.19

After the conviction of Tom:

Dill gives his aunt Rachel's viewpoint, but says,

"I'da got her told...but she didn't look much like tellin' this morning [from] wonderin' where I was....But that woman drinks a pint for breakfast...." Ch 22

When Aunt Alexandra scolds him:

"I ain't cynical, Miss Alexandra. Tellin' the truth's not cynical, is it?

"I think I'll be a clown when I get grown […] There ain't one thing in this world I can do about folks except laugh, so I'm gonna join the circus and laugh my head off." Ch. 22 



Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial