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Bob Ewell in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird Essay

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"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... until you climb into his skin and walk around in it" (Lee 20), said the inspirational book character, Atticus Finch, in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. This simple quote was used by Atticus to help relieve his daughter and protagonist, Scout, after her misfortunate first day of school. Now, however, the phrase is one of the most renowned book quotes due to its potential real-life applications. Scout may have needed to walk around in the skin of Robert E. Lee Ewell, better known as Bob Ewell, because she had some confusion over the way he acted due to the fact that she had "never heard Atticus talk about folks the way he talked about the Ewells" (Lee 87). Knowing that Atticus felt that way about anybody was a new experience for Scout. She tried to understand the reasoning behind Bob Ewell's actions, but with the good morals she was exclusively exposed to as a result of Atticus' teaching, Ewell's activities were a challenge for her to comprehend. However, Bob Ewell's actions, which included pressing charges on Tom Robinson and chasing the Finch children, did have their causes: his background, Maycomb's class structure, family problems, & an overall trait of insecurity.
The Ewells are viewed as the dregs of local society, as even "Atticus said the Ewells had been the disgrace of Maycomb for three generations" (Lee 21), during which they had "lived on the same plot of earth behind the Maycomb dump, and had thrived on county welfare money" (Lee 91). The lack of social exposure due to where and how he lives justifies Bob Ewell's lack of even the slightest form of respect in any scene in which he speaks. Atticus even passively allows Ewell to...


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...ry cause he had for his actions was just a part of his deepest motivation: insecurity. He attacks those involved in the Robinson case because of his worsened image produced during the trial. He constantly insults women and African-Americans because he believes he is simply better than them and doing so boosts his self-esteem ever so slightly. Trash is present in all societies, but sometimes people forget that it came from somewhere and became trash somehow. When trash refers to a person, it is even more important not to forget that his actions had their reasons, most of which are unfathomable "until you climb into his skin and walk around in it" (Lee 20).






Works Cited

Lee, Harper. To Kill A Mockingbird. N.p.: n.p., 1960. Lordmacktitan.weebly.com. TaleBooks.com. Web. 29 Jan. 2014. .


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