Character Essay Plan: Dill

In class we had to make a plan for a different character or theme and I did Dill, it's just my on opinions and ideas but you can use it to base an essay off / prompt yourself for ideas. Contains key themes and chapters in which Dill features in.

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  • Created by: khall16
  • Created on: 15-05-16 11:08
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Dill Essay Plan
Dill has an active imagination which shows his childhood optimism, as well as being a character separately, Dill can also be used to symbolise innocence.
When he is not allowed to visit in Chapter 12, it could demonstrate how Jem and Scout are growing up and losing their childhood friend and innocence
due to the trial. When Dill runs away in chapter 14, it's because his parents want him to be independent and do things on his own, hence it could
suggest that he's not just running away from his family, but also from having to grow up. Dill makes up quite a lot of stories and has a massive
imagination (demonstrated in quotes below.)
Family Identity:
There is a strong theme of Family Pride in the novel, Scout begins the novel by explaining her family heritage and Aunt Alexandra is very prejudice about
Family backgrounds, and doesn't hesitate to share her views loudly (as shown below in quotes from Francis in chapter 9) Dill has a poor relationship
with his family; he is sent away to Miss Rachel's every summer and he doesn't have a father. He says his family doesn't need him and aren't interested
in him. Dills miserable home life contrasts with the Finches' ­ Atticus provides his children with a loving, secure environment, which is why Dill goes
there. Dill doesn't feel loved by his parents. He runs away because his parents `just aren't interested with me."
Growing Up / Changing Social Attitudes:
In Chapter 9 when Dill cries at the trial, it shows how he is upset by how people treat one another. Even Scout, who has been raised by Atticus, insists
that "He's just a Negro" but as an outsider, Dill is less affected by small town racial attitudes of the time, and has a more open minded look on the case.
(Context: The Civil War in 18611865 was between the North and South over the abolishment of Slavery, deep southern towns were fighting FOR
slavery, and the north against. Even though the North won and slavery was abolished in 1865, the idea that black people were inferior was common in
the South. Then The Great Depression occurred and many people suffered, particularly farmers in the south because the Southern Economy was still
trying to recover from the abolishment of slavery; this is why Southern towns were extremely racist ­ they used the black people as scapegoats for their
problems. As an outsider, Dill is less affected by all of this and hence sympathises more than Scout does.)

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Moreover Dill himself grows up in this chapter. The fact that even Dill, the most childlike of them all, is becoming cynical shows how the trial affected
him. But he still has hope, saying he wants to be a "new kind of clown" ­ he wants things to change.
The fact that Dill is upset over the trial is interesting as Harper Lee wrote the novel in 1950's, in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement for rights of the
Black people in America.…read more

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Key Chapters:
Chapter Event Quote Theme
1 Dill is introduced. "I asked Dill where his Father was: `You ain't said anything about him.' "I haven't Family
got one."
4 Dill comes back next (about his Dad working on L&N Railroad) "In a pig's ear you did, Dill. Hush" Imagination
5 Trying to give Boo their "Dill Harris could tell the biggest ones I ever heard." Imagination.
letter. "What were you trying to give him?" "Just a letter.…read more


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