Dill was becoming something of a trial anyway, following Jem about. He had asked me earlier in the summer to marry him, then he promptly forgot about it. He staked me out, marked as his property, said I was the only girl he would ever love, then he neglected me. I beat him up twice but it did no good, he only grew closer to Jem. (chapter 5)
Dill Harris could tell the biggest ones I ever heard. Among other things, he had been up in a mail plane seventeen times, he had been to Nova Scotia, he had seen an elephant, and his granddaddy was Brigadier General Joe Wheeler and left him his sword. (chapter 5)
In the above two quotes, Harper Lee paints a portrait of Dill as a fanciful, mischievous, and mercurial character. Dill is prone, of course, to melodramatic hyperbole. He tells Scout that she is the only girl for him but disappoints her in becoming Jem's lackey. Of course, Dill is just a child seeing the world through his own limited life experience. However, we can all agree that Dill is sensitive, creative, and unorthodox.
Later in the story, it is Dill who cries at how Mr. Gilmer browbeats Tom Robinson during cross-questioning. Dill's sensitivity is notable and highlights his ability to relate emotionally to Tom's humiliation.
“What is it, Dill?” asked Atticus.
“Ah—I won ‘em from him,” he said vaguely.
“Won them? How?”
Dill’s hand sought the back of his head. He brought it forward and across his forehead. “We were playin‘ strip poker up yonder by the fishpool,” he said.
Jem and I relaxed. The neighbors seemed satisfied: they all stiffened. But what was strip poker?
We had no chance to find out: Miss Rachel went off like the town fire siren: “Doo-o Jee-sus, Dill Harris! Gamblin‘ by my fishpool? I’ll strip-poker you, sir!” (chapter 6)
In the above quotes, Harper Lee highlights Dill's loyalty to Jem and Scout. Despite his fear of being in trouble with Miss Rachel, Dill speaks up for Jem. What Dill says, however, is characteristic of his penchant for creative hyperbole. Yet, although Dill has played fast and loose with the truth, he endears us to him with his display of loyalty to Jem. Again, Dill's sensitivity to others and his ability to relate to them can be seen in his defense of Jem here, and later, of Tom Robinson.
In the above quotes, Harper Lee makes a strong social statement through a child's compassion: if we could all try to see life from another point of view, the world would be a better place. We see this statement reiterated through Atticus's words:
“First of all,” he said, “if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-”
“-until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”