In To Kill a Mockingbird, who is Francis, what's he like, and why did Scout get in trouble?

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rlydon14617's profile pic

rlydon14617 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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Francis is Aunt Alexandra's grandson. We see his character introduced in Chapter 9, when Jem, Atticus and Scout attend Christmas dinner at Aunt Alexandra's. Scout and Francis are a year apart in age and do not get along at all. Francis first gets Scout going when he says this about her friend Dill:"You mean that little runt... Grandma says he hasn't got a home...he just gets passed from relative to relative...You're mighty dumb sometimes, Jean Louise." Francis is merely repeating what he hears his mother saying about the people that Atticus and his family surround themselves with. He continues with, " Guess you don't know any better though...I guess it ain't your fault if Uncle Atticus is a n-lover..." Francis continues his taunts and Scout's temper explodes. It is here that she gives him what he had coming-a good swift punch to the face. Scout, of course, gets blamed for saying things she didn't say and is then later punished by her Uncle Jack.

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gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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As was mentioned in the previous post, Francis Hancock is Scout's cousin who she absolutely cannot stand. Francis is entitled, arrogant, and prejudiced. In Chapter 9, Scout is forced to hang out with Francis during their family's Christmas get-together at Finch's Landing. Francis is Scout's complete opposite. Scout believes that Francis is the most boring child she's ever met because he is not athletic, cares about his appearance, and has nothing in common with her. After the family dinner, Francis goes outside with Scout, where he begins to make fun of Dill. Francis then tells Scout that her father is shaming their family because he's a "nigger-lover." Despite not knowing the meaning of Francis's racial slur, Scout gets upset and eventually punches him in the face. Scout is the one who gets into trouble when Uncle Jack intervenes and spanks her.

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zumba96's profile pic

zumba96 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Francis is Aunt Alexandra's grandson and both Scout and Francis have a conflict during dinner. First he berates her friend and then insults her father which is the breaking point. However, at such a young age the only answer to his rude comments is this is because of his mother and whoever she gossips with. 

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