What are examples of comic relief in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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

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There are scattered examples of humor throughout To Kill a Mockingbird, and it is one of the elements that has kept the novel so popular through the years. My favorite examples:

  • JEM'S LOST PANTS.  One comes when Jem appears in the street not realizing he is standing in his underwear. He is saved by Dill's quick thinking, contriving a story that they have been playing "strip poker," though it is unlikely that any of the children understand the term.
  • MR. AVERY.  Jem, Dill and Scout were witnesses to an event that only happened once, but they were awed by the performance given by Mr. Avery, who was a boarder on the Finches' street. One night they saw Mr. Avery on his porch along with "an arc of water descending from the leaves and splashing in the yellow circle of the street light..." The boys apparently entered into a peeing contest of their own, of which Scout felt "left out again, as I was untalented in this area."