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To Kill A Mockingbird

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The Hero & the Villain To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a Pulitzer Prize winning novel about young Scout Finch's life in Maycomb County. Set in the precariously troubling time period of the 1930's, Scout's life takes a twist to the ugly when her father, Atticus Finch, defends a Negro accused of rape. Institutionalised racism is pervasive in Maycomb County and the fact that Atticus is defending, and even supporting a Negro, leads to most of Maycomb's citizens to feel outraged, especially a certain Bob Ewell. Bob Ewell was the man who had accused Tom Robinson of raping his daughter, Mayella. Bob displays an unusually antagonistic and provocative attitude towards Atticus because he believes that Atticus is a "nigger lover". To Bob, that is the lowest that a white man can sink to. Although Atticus and Bob have stark differences in their principles and moral values, they also have intriguing similarities which make both of their characters a difficult yet interesting study. A static character, Bob Ewell does not undergo any fundamental changes in the book and remains the shady and loathed antagonist. He is an abusive father who neglects his children and deprives them of a happy and memorable childhood. For example, he squanders all of his relief cheques to support his drinking habit instead of nourishing and supporting his children. Bob also instils the wrong set of morals for his children. He does not teach his children proper hygiene; resulting in his son being the "filthiest human" Scout had ever seen. ...read more.


He always stands up for what he thinks is right and he constantly sees it through, even when it seemed like everyone was against him. By defending Tom Robinson, Atticus has proven himself courageous both mentally and morally. Atticus looks past the racism that was greatly present in Maycomb County and stood by Tom Robinson's side after listening to the facts of the story with a non-clouded judgement. As stated before, Atticus believes in equality amongst people and he knew that the court was deliberately being unfair to Tom just because he was a Negro. Bob and Atticus have many similarities although they seem to be total opposites. For instance, Bob and Atticus are both widowed. Bob Ewell's wife died a long time ago and she left him with many children to raise. Atticus's wife also died when Scout and Jem were very young. Both Atticus and Bob rely on someone to help around the house, and also, with their children. However, they both have very contrasting ways when having help to raise their children. Atticus has Calpurnia to discipline his children and keep the house clean. Aunt Alexandra does not approve of Calpurnia as she feels that Calpurnia is not a good enough influence for the children. However, Atticus disagrees by saying that his children had not "suffered one bit from her having brought them up. If anything, she's (Calpurnia) has been harder on them (Jem and Scout) more than anything". ...read more.


On the contrary, Bob does not have any courage; he dares not take the blame for his own misdeeds and instead aids, and probably had encouraged, his daughter to unjustly accuse Tom Robinson of raping her. What Bob has is audacity. The audacity to stand with a pleased smirk on his face while he puts an innocent man in jail. In essence, Bob killed Tom Robinson for if it was not for Bob whose word counted more against Tom's, Tom Robinson would not have been in jail and therefore, he would not have attempted to stage an escape from jail, which in the end, had resulted in his death. One of the other differences that they have is that Bob is a racist while Atticus is not. Bob spits on Atticus and thinks very lowly of him for defending Tom Robinson. Bob has no qualms of calling Negroes "niggers" while Atticus reprimands his daughter for using that word. Atticus himself does not call Negroes "niggers" and he treats them with deferential respect. As one might have inferred already, Atticus and Bob are central characters in this novel. The underlying similar characteristics that I have revealed are what help the reader to be more engaged in the book and these two seemingly opposite characters. Those attributes are what makes Atticus and Bob gravitate towards each other while the differences that they have split them apart. It is clear to see who the hero is here and why. Atticus, being a non-racist and a fair man, lives a happy ever after while Bob Ewell dies, stabbed by his own knife when Boo saves Atticus' children from Bob. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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