To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee
Contributed by Sharon Fleming
Chapter 14

Scout tells Aunt Alexandra that Calpurnia took them to her church. Atticus isn't perturbed but Alexandra is, and when she hears that Calpurnia invited Scout to her house, she tells Atticus to fire her. Atticus defends her and claims she is part of the family. Trying to behave like an adult, Jem tells Scout to stop making Alexandra angry. Later that night, Scout steps on something that moves in her room and thinks it's a snake. Upon searching they find Dill under her bed; he had run from home because his stepfather never wanted him around. Atticus tells Miss Rachel where Dill is so she can inform his parents. As they fall asleep, Scout asks Dill why Boo Radley never ran away, and Dill says that maybe he had nowhere to run to; making Scout appreciate her family bond with Jem and Atticus more.


Aunt Alexandra tries to make the Finches live up to the standards she believes are right. Her reaction to Scout and Jem going to Calpurnia’s church is in sharp contrast with Atticus’s reaction. In their confrontation, a major difference is revealed between Atticus’s philosophy of fostering bonds between people and Alexandra’s philosophy of categorizing people and putting them into clusters. While the two adults argue, Jem and Scout slip away and discover that Dill has returned. Jem insists they tell Atticus so he can inform Dill’s parents and Aunt Rachel of his whereabouts. He stays with the Finches that night and as they talk with Scout, she realizes how much Dill is disconnected from his family. She appreciates her family bond with Atticus, Jem and Calpurnia even more.

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