What is "the lemon drop plan" in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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After supper one evening, Dill comes up with "a foolproof plan" to lure Boo Radley out of his house: they should "place a trail of lemon drops from the back door to the front yard," and Boo will come out and follow it like an ant.

Having run away from home recently himself, Dill has been found hiding under Scout's bed. Jem breaks "the remaining code" of his and Scout's childhood and informs Atticus of Dill's sudden appearance. Then, Atticus notifies Dill's Aunt Rachel that Dill is in their house. When she learns of Dill's whereabouts, Aunt Rachel rants about how worried his parents have been; nevertheless, she tells Dill he has permission to stay overnight at the Finches.

It is later that Dill devises his plan to lure Arthur Radley out of his house. This plan is something like the one Hansel has in the fairy tale "Hansel and Gretel." After he and his sister overhear their parents talk of abandoning their children in the forest because they cannot afford to feed them, Hansel consoles his sister by telling her that he will carry white pebbles in his pocket and drop them along the way so that he and Gretel can follow them home after their abandonment. This is what the children do, and they find their way home.

Dill, who has read many of the fairy tales, probably identifies with Hansel since he feels neglected at home. He explains that his mother and her new husband are not mean; they just want their privacy. As he lies beside Scout in the night, she asks Dill, "Why do you reckon Boo Radley's never run off?" Dill sighs and turns away from Scout, but he answers, "Maybe he doesn't have anywhere to run off to..."

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shauger's profile pic

shauger | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

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The children's curiosity about the mysterious Boo Radley (Arthur) is great and the trail idea reminds me of E.T., if you have ever seen that movie. Eliot leaves Reese's pieces in hopes of attracting E.T. The children plan the lemon drop trail in hopes of luring Boo Radley out of his house.

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katt1377's profile pic

katt1377 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

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Jem, Scout and Dill make a trail of lemon drops from the door of the Radley house to lure Boo Radley out.