Why does Scout claim that Dill could tell the biggest lies?

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mrwickline | High School Teacher | In Training Educator

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Dill is notorious for telling lies throughout the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.” In Chapter 4, when Dill comes back to Maycomb for the summer he tells Jem and Scout how he met his father (who happened to be taller than Atticus). His father had a pointed black beard, and was the president of L&N Railroad (a significant position). Dill even tells them that he helped engineer the train for a while (4.48). In Chapter 6, the children are preparing to write a letter to Boo Radley asking him to come out of his house. In a discussion regarding the length of Boo’s beard, Dill says that his father doesn’t have a beard on accident, and the children catch him in his lie. Dill quickly responds with another tale by saying, “If it’s all the same to you he shaved it off last summer! Yeah, an’ I’ve got the letter to prove it--he sent me two dollars, too!” Scout then recounts the many lies Dill has told in the past, and concludes that “he could tell the biggest ones I ever heard.” Dill’s lies range from stories of flying in a plane, traveling to Nova Scotia, seeing an elephant, and having a war hero as a grandfather.

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