Why does Scout fight her cousin Francis after the Christmas dinner at Finch's Landing in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Scout's antagonistic cousin, Francis Hancock, "the most boring child I ever met," made the mistake of repeatedly taunting her with the epithet "nigger-lover"--referring to Atticus. Scout wasn't quite sure what it meant, but she could tell from Francis' tone that it wasn't good. But Francis kept it up, running into the kitchen each time, where he was protected by Aunt Alexandra. So Scout waited patiently, pretending to take a passive stance, until Francis made the mistake of going out into the yard, beyond the scope of Alexandra's protection. When he thought Scout "sufficiently subdued," he once again 

...crooned softly, "Nigger-lover..."
     This time I split my knuckle to the bone on his front teeth.

Scout received a spanking from her Uncle Jack for her pugilistic display, but after Scout explained her reasons to him, Uncle Jack was ready to deal out some punishment to Francis himself.


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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

This question has already been asked and answered right here on eNotes.  Here is a link for you:  http://www.enotes.com/to-kill-a-mockingbird/q-and-a/why-does-cousin-francis-tell-scout-about-dills-120681

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

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They do not get along and what happened was Francis got on her bad side and insulted Dill but also insulted her father to where she could not take it. Her father always told her to hold in her anger and stop fighting so she waited until he was an arms length away to start fighting with him.          

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