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Relationships in To Kill a Mockingbird

Uploaded by silverchair on Oct 22, 2001

At the heart of “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, is the relationship between Atticus and Bob. Before the trial, Atticus is well respected by Mr. Ewell, but he soon turns sour upon the realization that Atticus is actually going to fight for a black man against him. This relationship is used to portray the books key themes of understanding and tolerance, values, and reactions when morals are questioned.

One of the novel’s key themes is the theme of understanding and tolerance. Lee is able to show that even in the most unpleasant of situations, that men with good values can see things from another person’s view. When Bob Ewell spits on Atticus’ face, instead of retaliating, Atticus simply returns home and simply says, “I wish he would stop chewing tobacco”. This shows his great degree of tolerance. His behavior in this situation also shows his understanding. Atticus “destroyed [Bob’s] last shred of credibility”, and as he understands where Bob Ewell is coming from, he takes it in his stride.

Throughout the novel, the theme of values, respect and morals is brought up regularly. Once again, a clear example of this is when Bob Ewell meets Atticus outside the courthouse. Despite being harassed and being called a “nigger lovin’ bastard” and other obscenities by Mr.Ewell, he holds his head up high and does not sink to Bob Ewell’s level. Instead, he lets Bob Ewell take out his anger on himself, in the hope that “[Atticus] saved Mayella Ewell one extra beating”. This shows Atticus’ good values and priorities.

At the end of the novel, the relationship between Bob Ewell and Atticus ends with a twist. Atticus is faced to chose between his family and his morals in his decision as to who killed Bob Ewell. When the sheriff, Heck Tate, suggests that someone else may have killed Mr.Ewell, Atticus says that he “won’t have it”, and clearly shows that his morals and values are fair and are held against all people, even his own family. Despite his anger, over “not thinking about Jem”, when finding out what happens, he still sticks to his original statement. He tries to show his children that values are everything, and that if “[my children don’t trust me [(Atticus)], then they won’t trust anybody.

The Relationship between Atticus Finch and Bob Ewell is certainly, in my opinion, the heart of “To Kill A Mockingbird”. Although Bob...

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Uploaded by:   silverchair

Date:   10/22/2001

Category:   To Kill A Mockingbird

Length:   2 pages (457 words)

Views:   3856

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