Dill Harris

When introduced in the book, Dill was seven years old. He is the nephew of the Finches neighbor Rachel Haverford. His reason for running away from his mother's home was because he believed they were not paying any attention to him. He has a crush on Scout and even vows early in the book that he will marry her. Scout takes this vow seriously despite how young Scout and Dill are.

He has a crazy imagination and can make many things up. His biological father wasn't around often when he was younger. His mother remarried. Dill said this stepfather was the reason he ran away. Since he felt that they were having far more fun without him around. He felt he was unneeded.

Dill is one year older than Scout and three years younger than Jem. Because Dill is shorter than Scout and frail in appearance, Scout first thinks he is younger than she is.

Dill Harris was modeled after Harper Lee's friend Truman Capote. We are introduced to Dill in the first chapter of the book. He is a welcome visitor every summer for the entire novel.


He is described as rather short for even his young age.

Acts older and wiser than his years.  

His hair is snow white and stuck to his head like duckfluff.  

He habitually pulls at a cowlick in the center of his forehead.  


"The thing is what i'm tryin to say is-- they do get on a lot better without me, I can't help them any. They ain't mean. They buy me everything I want, but it's now-you've-got-it-go-play-with-it."

"I don't care one speck. It ain't right, somehow it ain't right to do 'em that way. Hasn't anybody got any business talkin' like that-- it just makes me sick."

"I ain't cynical, Miss Alexandra. Tellin' the truth's not cynical is it?"

"I think I'll be a clown when I get grown [...] There ain't one thing in this world I can do about folks except laugh, so i'm gonna join the circus and laugh my head off."