What is Lee's purpose for inserting Raymond's conversation with Scout and Dill in the middle of the drama of the trial? In Chapter 20

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a very good question, hmart. Since Dill had become so emotional that he had to leave the courtroom, Scout accompanied him outside where he could regain his composure. There they meet Dolphus Raymond, like Bob Ewell, an outcast in the white community of Maycomb. However, he quickly proves to be the antithesis of Ewell. Raymond happily lives with a black mistress (his fiance committed suicide when she found out about her) and laments to the children about the terrible treatment that Negroes receive in Maycomb. Perhaps the author includes Raymond's plea for fairness from the white community in order to contrast it with the Ewells' obvious hatred of blacks. Raymond also serves as a contrast to the white jury who will convict Tom Robinson because of his color. Raymond's status in Maycomb is similar to that of Tom since he has been condemned by the white community because he has deserted his people in favor of the less fortunate Negroes. Raymond gives the children hope for a favorable verdict, but they will soon learn that his opinion is not a prevailing one.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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