Physical Appearance: White, appears older than he is, unclean, not well kept, left handed, little red rooster and bantam cock.
Personality: Racist, aggressive, rude, confident, stubborn, self-centered, and abusive towards others even his children.
Bob Ewell, like some of contemporaries, has strong racist tendencies. He is the main antagonist in the second part of the book.
Bob Ewell was killed in the climax of the novel. Atticus thinks it is his own son Jem that did it while the sheriff, Heck Tate, argues that he accidentally fell on the knife. It is up to the reader to decide which is the true story.
Bob Ewell particularly dominates the story during the trial and when he tries to kill the Finch children. In both parts he is represented as evil or at least a negative character. As was common for his social class and in the historical setting of the novel, he calls everyone who defends black people “Nigger Lovers”.
“I’m real sorry that they picked you to defend that nigger that raped Mayella. I don’t know why I didn’t kill him myself instead of goin to the sheriff. That would have saved you and sheriff and the taxpayers’ lots of trouble...”
Presence in part one of the bookEdit
Bob Ewell isn't present in part one of the book however, his son, Burris Ewell, attends the same school as Scout and is in her class (only for the first day) and within minutes of his apearance storms out after calling the teacher, Miss Caroline Fisher, a "snot nosed slut" after she screams at his lice. This introduces us to the Ewells. Later when Scout asks Atticus why she has to attend school but the Ewells don't Atticus gives us a little insight which yet again sets us up for later with Bob, Atticus says "the Ewells are made up of an exclusive society of Ewells" which basically means they think they're above the law.
- "yeah nah, yeah nah, nah yeah. just throw her in the duel cab MATE.
- -Jacob Cadavid from the Renaissance Charter School
- Grade 13
"Mr. Ewell turned angrily to the judge and said he didn't see what his being left-handed had to do with it, that he was a Christ-fearing man and Atticus Finch was taking advantage of him. Tricking lawyers like Atticus Finch took advantage of him all the time with their tricking ways. He had told him what happened, he'd say it again and again- which he did. Nothing Atticus asked him after that shook his story, that he looked through the window, then ran the nigger off, then ran for the sheriff. Atticus finally dismissed him.
-Chapter 17, Page 237