Why does Dill's family seem like such an oddity to Scout?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although her mother died when she was quite young, Scout has a happy and well adjusted home life. Atticus is the perfect father, brother Jem is her best friend, and Calpurnia serves adequately as surrogate mother and housekeeper. Best of all, there is no lack of love in the Finch household. Dill, on the other hand, does not like to talk about his parents, especially his father. He is dumped on his Aunt Rachel each summer where he finds his greatest friendship and happiness--thanks to Jem and Scout. Dill's mother has no time for him, preferring to spend her free hours with her male friends--and without Dill. Scout finds it odd that Dill has to fantasize about his father and concoct stories about his prominence; she and Jem both realize the stories are untrue, and feel sorry for their Mississippi friend. When Dill runs away from Meridian and emerges from under Scout's bed, he finally reveals his true feelings. His new father dislikes him and he wants to stay in Maycomb. Unlike Boo Radley, who "doesn't have anyplace to run off to," Dill will always have the summers in Maycomb with Jem and Scout.

mkcapen1 | Student

Dill is from a dysfunctional family.  During the time of the book divorces were not often heard of.  Dill's family sends him around to different relatives.  Scout's father has provided her with a stable environment where everyone knows one another.  She is secure and her life does not change much.  She visits relatives in her hometown and even Atticus' brother comes to visit.  Dill's mother works to take care of them.  He gets to see movies, but he mostly seems to be shoved from one place to another.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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