What is the idea that capitivates Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Dill first hears the tale of the mysterious Boo Radley in Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, he cannot get it out of his mind. His primary goal for the rest of the novel is to lure Boo out of the Radley house for a good look.

     The more we told Dill about the Radleys, the more he wanted to know, the longer he would stand hugging the lightpole on the corner, the more he would wonder.
     "Wonder what he looks like?" said Dill.

Dill bet that Jem wouldn't touch the Radley front gate. Then he dared him. Later, he smelled death at the Radley house. He played Mr. Radley in their drama about Boo, and provided the paper for their first note to Boo. And it was Dill who suggested that they make their ill-fated visit to the Radley house the night that Jem lost his pants.

Later, in Chapter 22, Dill also becomes entranced with the idea of becoming a clown so he can "join the circus and laugh my head off." When Jem explains that people laugh at clowns, not the other way around, Dill promises that he will become a new type of clown--one that laughs at people.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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