What Does Cousin Francis Tell Scout About Dill

What does Cousin Francis tell Scout about Dill's home life in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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mrshh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Francis was the grandson of Scout's Aunt Alexandra.  She found him to be "the most boring child [she] ever met."  Every year Scout, Atticus, and Jem spent Christmas at Finch's Landing.  After Christmas dinner, Scout and Francis sat "on the back steps" of the house and talked.  Francis proclaimed the cooking skills of his grandmother.  He told Scout that Aunt Alexandra was going to teach him how to cook one day.  Scout found that idea to be amusing, and she announced that "'boys don't cook.'"  Francis informed her of Aunt Alexandra's opinion that "'all men should learn to cook.'"  This way, they could help their wives if they were sick.  

Scout told Francis that she did not "'want Dill waitin‘ on'" her.  She informed him that she was going to cook for Dill someday because they planned to get married.  Francis thought the idea of Scout and Dill getting married someday was hilarious.  Francis called Dill "'that little runt Grandma says stays with Miss Rachel every summer.'"  Francis said that Dill did not even have a home.  He said that Dill got "'passed around from relative to relative, and Miss Rachel keeps him every summer.'"

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

About the only thing that Scout and her obnoxious Cousin Francis can agree upon is that Aunt Alexandra is a wonderful cook. After Christmas dinner, Scout sat down with Francis on the back steps. When Francis told her that Alexandra was going to teach him how to cook, Scout laughed and explained that she and Dill were getting married one day, and that she would be doing all the cooking. Francis already knew about Dill from talking with his grandmother. Francis called Dill "that little runt," no doubt stirring up Scout's temper. Francis told her that Dill really didn't have a home and that

"... he just gets passed around from relative to relative, and Miss Rachel keeps him every summer."

Scout defended Dill, of course, but Francis quickly moved on to another subject that only irritated his cousin even more: Atticus' defense of Tom Robinson.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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