Illustration of a bird perched on a scale of justice

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

Start Free Trial

On what page do Scout and Francis fight in To Kill a Mockingbird?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In the Warner Books publication, the pages are 88–90 for this incident. The passage is in Chapter 9 of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Scout's cousin Francis is not a relative of whom she is very fond. Scout finds it difficult to agree with Francis on several topics, one of which is Dill. Francis ridicules Dill, referring to him as "a little runt" who is merely passed back and forth from one relative to another in the summer. When Scout disagrees, Francis assumes a superior attitude and tells Scout,

"You're mighty dumb sometimes, Jean-Louise. Guess you don't know any better, though."

Scout detects the arrogance in the words and asks him what he means. He responds,

"If Uncle Atticus lets you run around with stray dogs, that's his own business, like Grandma says, so it ain't your fault. I guess it ain't your fault if Uncle Atticus is a n****r-lover besides, but I'm here to tell you it certainly does mortify the rest of the family--"

An instantly incensed Scout challenges him to clarify his statement. Francis says, "He's ruinin' the family, that what he's doin'." He rises and gets a safe distance before he shouts that Atticus "is nothin' but a n****r-lover!" 
Now it is an extremely belligerent Scout who leaps from the steps and races down the catwalk where Francis has gone. She grabs him and demands that he take back his insult. Francis refuses and jerks himself loose. Racing into the old kitchen, he yells back at Scout, repeating his invective.

This time she connects with her fist and splits the skin of her knuckles on his front teeth. Then she swings with her right fist, but Uncle Jack grabs her arms before she can connect with her punch. When he scolds her, Scout complains that he is not being fair because he does not know what Francis has called Atticus.

Later, Uncle Jack comes to the Finch home and talks with Scout; after hearing her side, he promises to have a talk with his sister Alexandra about the behavior of Francis, and he adds, "Wait'll I get my hands on that boy...." But Scout begs her uncle to not say anything about Francis's name-calling. He promises, restoring his and Scout's amicable relationship again.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Chapter 9 on page 112, Scout fights her cousin Francis Hancock. Scout says, "I split my knuckle to the bone on his front teeth." (Lee 112) During a family Christmas gathering at Finch's Landing, Scout spends quality time with her cousin Francis. Francis is Aunt Alexandra's grandson who is the polar opposite of Scout. Francis is a preppy, sensitive boy who Scout believes the most boring child she ever met. Scout says, "Talking to Francis gave me the sensation of settling slowly to the bottom of the ocean." (Lee 107) After dinner, Scout and Francis have a conversation in the backyard. First, Francis offends Scout by making negative comments about Dill. Then, he tells Scout it's not her fault that Atticus is a "nigger-lover," and it mortifies the rest of the family. Scout gets upset, and Francis runs away but continues to provoke Scout by yelling, "He's nothin' but a nigger-lover." (Lee 110) Francis runs into the kitchen and tells Alexandra that Scout is chasing him. After Alexandra scolds Scout she waits patiently to get her revenge on Francis. When Francis decides to come out of hiding and concludes that Scout won't harm him, he walks up to her and whispers "Nigger-lover..." (Lee 112) At that very moment Scout punches him square in the mouth and Uncle Jack grabs her arms. 

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team