Why does Dill want to be a clown when he grows up?

+35 votes
asked Jan 3, 2019 in Entertainment by AleDetwiler (240 points)
edited Jul 25, 2019 by Kris
I just finished reading “To Kill a Mockingbird”. It’s a beautiful story of racism, tragedy and blind justice that I would certainly recommend. How Atticus Finch would defend a man’s innocence despite the color of the skin then how the life there affect Scout and Jem. What wonders other than the idea of prejudices and tolerance is probably something more insignificant. Why does Dill want to be a clown when he grows up? Why the odd career choice? I mean he is still really young in the story so could just be a random whim, but knowing the author, it should have some sort of symbolism to it! I can’t figure it out why he wants to be a clown.

2 Answers

+15 votes
answered Aug 9, 2019 by JackieHollin (390 points)
edited Aug 14, 2019
Dill’s interesting career choice to be a clown roots from all the unhappiness he has experienced and witnessed. A clown is always happy, making the audience smile and making other people laugh or having something in common they could be happy about. Seeing the harsh reality in Maycomb and growing up with no father, so naturally he wants a future where there is only joy. Especially with the injustice of the trial of Tom Robinson, he just wants that happiness that makes people forget.
+9 votes
answered May 17, 2019 by Teresa667913 (350 points)
edited Jul 6, 2019
So why does Dill want to be a clown when he grows up? Dill wants to be a clown is symbolism of his growing maturity. Instead of a clown that makes people laugh at the clown, he wants to be a clown that laughs at other people. He wants to laugh at the people or society because of the idiocy of the Tom Robinson trial. Throughout the story, Dill has been portrayed to be both an outsider to Maycomb and an observer of the story. He is the moral thermometer to all the other characters in the story, with a personality that is a complication of all these characters. He’s  trying lure Boo Radley out of his hiding mirrors that of Bob Ewell with Tom Robinson, though not for heinous intention. Then he creates lies and bogus stories just like how Mayella Ewell does during the Tom Robinson court case. When Dolphus Raymond comes to town, Dill acts like him. He also risks his safety running to Maycomb like how Jem does when collecting pants from the Radleys. He represents the lies spewed by the people. It is ironic, however, that he would sob when the Ewells won the case with the lies about Tom Robinson. So he decides to be a clown, a liar that makes others laugh at the expense of himself, but in his case, laughing at others instead and be happy.
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