To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird Youth Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (chapter.paragraph)
Dill's eyes flickered at Jem, and Jem looked at the floor. Then he rose and broke the remaining code of our childhood. He went out of the room and down the hall. "Atticus," his voice was distant, "can you come here a minute, sir?"
Beneath its sweat-streaked dirt Dill's face went white. I felt sick. […]
Jem was standing in a corner of the room, looking like the traitor he was. "Dill, I had to tell him," he said. "You can't run three hundred miles off without your mother knowin'."
We left him without a word. (14.79-91)
Jem really is growing up—he puts adult notions of what's right (tell your parents before you decide to run off to a different county) before child ones (don't tattle on your friends). Is there a particular reason for Jem's change, or is it just part of getting older?
I raised up on my elbow, facing Dill's outline. "It's no reason to run off. They don't get around to doin' what they say they're gonna do half the time...." (14.109)
While kids get a bum rap for having short attention spans, it's adults who can't be trusted to follow through from the child perspective. But has Scout shared anything from her own experience that supports this view, or is she just sympathizing with Dill?
"There has been a request," Judge Taylor said, "that this courtroom be cleared of spectators, or at least of women and children, a request that will be denied for the time being. People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for, and they have the right to subject their children to it, but I can assure you of one thing: you will receive what you see and hear in silence or you will leave this courtroom, but you won't leave it until the whole boiling of you come before me on contempt charges. (17.97)
Women are here put in the same category with children as beings in need of protection, whose delicate ears should be shielded from sordid reality. What? You say that rape is something women have to worry about experiencing more than men? Pshaw. They still shouldn't be allowed to hear about it.