In To Kill a Mockingbird, why does Uncle Jack tell Scout the story about Lord Melbourne?

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In chapter nine, Uncle Jack visits his brother's family to celebrate Christmas and is forced to reprimand Scout for punching her cousin in the face. Later that evening, Uncle Jack has an enlightening conversation with Scout about what transpired, and he apologizes for jumping to conclusions after she tells him...

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In chapter nine, Uncle Jack visits his brother's family to celebrate Christmas and is forced to reprimand Scout for punching her cousin in the face. Later that evening, Uncle Jack has an enlightening conversation with Scout about what transpired, and he apologizes for jumping to conclusions after she tells him what Francis called Atticus. Uncle Jack then leads Scout into the bathroom, where he proceeds to bandage her knuckles. While he is dressing Scout's minor wounds, she asks him, "What's a whore-lady?" (Lee, 89). Uncle Jack is immediately caught off guard by her explicit question and attempts to dance around the subject by telling her an outrageous, entertaining story concerning Lord Melbourne, whose life was quite colorful. His story about Lord Melbourne does not answer Scout's specific question and is simply used to distract her from the explicit topic.

Later that night, Scout overhears Uncle Jack discussing their conversation with Atticus. When Uncle Jack tells Atticus that he avoided answering Scout's question about the meaning of the term "whore-lady," Atticus tells his brother,

Jack! When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness’ sake. But don’t make a production of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion quicker than adults, and evasion simply muddles ‘em. (Lee, 90)

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This a humorous incident from Jem and Scout's visit to Finch's Landing at Christmas. After Scout tells Uncle Jack her side of the story in regard why she had hit Francis in the mouth, he takes her into the bathroom to gently clean and bandage her split knuckle. While he comforts her, Scout suddenly asks him, very innocently, "What's a whore-lady?" Taken completely by surprise and at a loss for words, Jack does not answer her question directly; instead, he tells her a very long story about nineteenth-century British Prime Minister Lord Melbourne, whose personal life was rather colorful. When Jack shares this episode with Atticus later, Atticus gives him a piece of advice in dealing with children:

Jack! When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness' sake. But don't make a production of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion quicker than adults, and evasion simply muddles 'em.

Atticus was right. Scout said that she thought her Uncle Jack was trying to give her an answer, "but he made no sense whatsoever."

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