In "To Kill a Mockingbird", what does Dolphus Raymond's comment (below) foreshadow at the end of the chapter?"You aren't thin-hided, it just makes you sick, doesn't it?"

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapter 20, Scout takes Dill out of the courtroom after he bursts into tears listening to Mr. Gilmer speak down to Tom Robinson. As they are walking out of the courthouse, Dolphus Raymond overhears Dill lamenting about Mr. Gilmer's treatment of Tom and says, "You aren’t thin-hided, it just makes you sick, doesn’t it?" (203) Dolphus then gives Dill a drink of his Coca-Cola to settle his stomach and sympathizes with Dill's situation. Dolphus Raymond then elaborates on how the children aren't old enough to understand the overt prejudice throughout their community but still recognize the difference between right and wrong, which is why Dill is upset with Mr. Gilmer.

Dolphus Raymond's comment foreshadows Jem's reaction to the verdict. After hearing the guilty verdict and witnessing racial injustice for the first time, Jem bursts into tears. Similar to Dill's experience in chapter 20, Jem reacts with anger and misery when Tom Robinson is wrongfully convicted. Jem loses his childhood innocence and realizes the dark reality of his prejudiced community. He becomes jaded towards the citizens of Maycomb following the trial, and it takes some time before he comes to terms with Tom's wrongful conviction. 

katemschultz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

DIll needs to leave the court room during Mr. Gilmer's cross examination of Tom because Mr. Gilmer's treatment of Tom makes Dill sick. Mr. Gilmer is calling Tom "boy" and being condescending and Dill understands that isn't right. Atticus was kind to Mr. Gilmer's witnesses, so there's no reason Mr. Gilmer shouldn't be nice to Tom.

Dolphus Raymond is commenting on the fact that children can see injustices far better than adults--or are more sensitive to them than adults. Dill can understand that Mr. Gilmer's treatment of Tom is unjust, but most adults in the court room will turn a blind eye to it because Tom is black. This foreshadows Jem's reaction to the verdict--Jem can understand how wrong it is, and can't understand how adults--who are supposed to be so smart--could come to that verdict. Kids aren't overly sensitive--they just don't see the same differences that adults do,

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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