What Does Dill Dare Jem To Do

What does Dill dare Jem to do in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird?

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literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The dare between Dill and Jem appears in chapter one of Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird. For the bet, Dill bet Jem The Gray Ghost book against two Swifts that Jem would not be able make it past the Radley's gate. This bet was made based upon a previous conversation between Jem and Dill when Dill stated that he wanted to see what Boo looked like.

Jem told Dill that trying to get Boo to come out of the house would get him killed and, therefore, Dill knew that Jem was really afraid of Boo. Based upon this, Dill made the first bet.

Jem tried for three days to get Jem to approach the house and get Boo to come out. It is not until the third day that "Dill got him." In the end, the bet between Dill and Jem only required Jem to touch the Radley house.

Jem stood in thought so long that Dill made a mild concession: “I won’t say you ran out on a dare an‘ I’ll swap you The Gray Ghost if you just go up and touch the house.” Jem brightened. “Touch the house, that all?” Dill nodded.

Jem, not known to ever decline a dare, ran up, touched the house, and tore past Dill and Scout. It was not until the children were safe back on their porch that they thought they saw movement in the Radley window.

poetrymfa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter One of To Kill a Mockingbird, Charles Baker Harris, known as "Dill," arrives in Maycomb to spend the summer with his aunt, Miss Rachel Haverford (who also happens to be the next door neighbor of Jem and Scout). Dill, Jem, and Scout form a fast friendship predicated on their wild imaginations. When the trio finally gets tired of acting out stories as entertainment, they decide to up the stakes.

Dill, who is fascinated with the mysterious Boo Radley, bets Jem his copy of The Gray Ghost against two Tom Swifts that Jem couldn't walk past the Radley's gate. It takes three days of Dill's persistence for Jem to finally accept the dare, at which point Dill decides to make it more interesting. He promises Jem that he won't say he "ran out" on a dare and will give him The Gray Ghost if Jem goes up and touches the Radley's house. Jem winds up running through the gate and slapping the house, which evokes a tiny movement in the window; for the children, this seems to be yet another spooky sign of Boo's presence. 

quiqui | Student

In chapter one, Dill dares Jem to go up and touch the hpuse. Jem pretends not to be afraid, but he is still scared as he runs away. Later Atticus scolds them for trying to provoke Boo Radley.

cockatoo41 | Student

Dill dares Jem to go and touch the Radley house

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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