What does Otis say the Littmus Lozenge tastes like to him in Kate DiCamillo's Because of Winn-Dixie?  

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 19 of Kate DiCamillo's Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal gives Otis the candy called a Littmus Lozenge she had asked Miss Franny Block, the town librarian, for. When Otis tries the candy, he starts crying and says, "It tastes good, but it also tastes a little bit like being in jail."

Otis explains that he was arrested one day for playing his guitar on the street without a permit. When cops asked him to leave, he refused, and the cops handcuffed him. Since he couldn't continue playing his guitar with the handcuffs on, Otis, unfortunately, grew so angry he hit one of the cops, knocking him unconscious. Therefore, Otis was arrested on more serious charges, and while in jail, the cops refused to let him have his guitar, which broke his heart. Now, he no longer plays on the street. He only plays for the pets in the store.

Prior to Chapter 19, we learn in Chapter 17 that Miss Franny's great-grandfather, Littmus W. Block, made a fortune from his development and manufacture of Littmus Lozenges. She further explains that her great-grandfather, Littmus W. Block, returned from the Civil War, having fought for the Confederates, to find all of his family members dead from typhoid or from fighting on the battle field, leaving him an orphan. It was at that point in his life he decided to manufacture candy and secretly made them taste "sweet and sad." After Opal tried one of the candies herself, which she observed tasted like root beer and strawberry plus sorrow, she asked for more to give to people she knows who have experienced their own sorrows.

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Because of Winn-Dixie

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