What are quotes that show Dill felt sick in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Mr. Gilmer cross-examines Tom Robinson, Dill starts crying and cannot stop.  Scout takes him out of the courtroom because he is sick to his stomach.

The racism makes Dill physically ill during the trial.  He begins crying when Mr. Gilmer is questioning Tom Robinson.  Scout assumes that Dill hasn’t fully recovered from running away.  Scout takes Dill outside the courthouse, where he explains.

It was the way he said it made me sick, plain sick … The way that man called him 'boy' all the time an' sneered at him, an' looked around at the jury every time he answered-" (ch 19)

Dolphus Raymond makes Dill feel better, metaphorically and physically.  He lives life differently from most people in Maycomb, because he is married to a black woman. 

"I know what you mean, boy," said a voice behind us. We thought it came from the tree-trunk, but it belonged to Mr. Dolphus Raymond. He peered around the trunk at us. "You aren't thin-hided, it just makes you sick, doesn't it?" (ch 19)

He pretends to be drunk, but really drinks Coca-cola.  He demonstrates to Dill that not all people in Maycomb are racists, and gives him hope that the world will change.

Dill’s stomachache demonstrates the innocence of youth.  Scout is too young to understand the full effects of the way Tom Robinson is being treated, and Jem is old enough to control his emotions.  It is Dill who is old enough to understand but not old enough to deal with it.


gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the end of chapter 19, Scout is forced to take Dill out of the courtroom because he begins to cry and cause a disruption. As the two children exit the courtroom, Scout asks Dill what is wrong with him. Dill responds by saying,

"That old Mr. Gilmer doin' him thataway, talking so hateful to him—" (Lee, 202).

Scout is unsympathetic to Dill's feelings and tells him that Mr. Gilmer is supposed to behave like that in court because he is part of the prosecution. Dill elaborates more by telling Scout that Mr. Gilmer's behavior and attitude made him sick. Dill then compares the way Atticus respectfully questioned the witnesses to the way Mr. Gilmer spoke to Tom by calling him "boy" and sneering at him the entire time. When Scout mentions that Tom is simply a Negro, Dill responds by saying,

"I don’t care one speck. It ain’t right, somehow it ain't right to do 'em that way. Hasn't anybody got any business talkin' like that—it just makes me sick" (Lee, 203). 

Outside of the courtroom, Dolphus Raymond overhears the two children and sympathizes with Dill's emotions. He then gives Dill a sip of Coca-Cola from his bag and explains to the children the prejudiced nature of their community.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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