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Main characters of the novel

By Harper Lee Release Year: 1960

Jean Louise Finch

Famous with the nickname “Scout,” Jean Finch is rightly regarded to be the protagonist, as well as the narrator of the novel under analysis. She appears to be a little girl of five years only at the beginning chapter of the novel, and grows eight as the novel ends. She is living with her widowed father Atticus Finch and elder brother in Maycomb town. She appears to be a brilliant young girl with extraordinary observational skills. Therefore, she has successfully observed the developments being made within her social and physical environment. Scout has been portrayed as a caring girl having sympathetic nature, and concern for her family, friends and relations as well as other members of her town. Her tender heart and benevolent disposition as well as having deep love for her father and brother reminds the readers of Maggie Tulliver --- the protagonist of the Mill on the Floss by nineteenth century British novelist George Eliot (1860). Identical with Maggie Tulliver, Scout also presented the image of tomboy, and participates in the sports and activities attributed to the young boys. She looks excited to get admitted to the local town school. Scout has been portrayed as a compassionate and affectionate young girl, and looks deeply worried on the eve of find her father in a dangerous situation, and forgets all her disliking for her paternal aunt Alexandra for the latter’s demonstrating great concern for the well-being and life of Atticus Finch during Finch’s pleading from the side of the African American accused Tom. She is also friendly, and develops friendship with Dill immediately after his arrival in the town. She has been gifted with a sharp memory, which turns out to be supportive in respect of remembering the chronicle of events leading to the arrest and killing of Tom, as well as the consequences of her father’s support to the African American accused as lawyer. Identical with her father and elder brother, she also carries no ethno-racial prejudice against the blacks; nor does she demonstrate any abhorrence or displeasure towards the members of lower social stratum altogether. On the contrary, she views observing of bias on the part of the jury as strictly against the principles of social justice, morality and human values. Therefore, she questions about the colored balcony in the court reserved for the black people during the trial. Scout also demonstrates great courage on the eve of being attacked by Ewell on her and Jem, where the children escape the assault due to Boo’s timely help. Hence, possessing the above-discussed wonderful qualities makes Scout as the protagonist character of the novel under investigation.


Jem Finch

Jem is one of the main characters of the novel who is Atticus’s son and four-year elder brother to Scout. Like the other growing boys of his age, he looks brave, courageous and active boy, and hence is loved and revered by his sister for demonstrating bravery by touching the gate of Radley house and standing beside his father on the eve of Atticus’s attempt of preventing Tom’s lynching at the hands of the white mob. Another noticeable aspect of Jem’s personality includes his being amiable to almost all the individuals around him. He is not only loved by his father but also the sister and Aunt Alexandra. Moreover, he also loves his family and friend Dill and has developed a positive image of Boo. Jem is also a rational and tolerant boy at heart, where the racial bias prevailing in Maycomb town has not polluted his heart and mind altogether. Identical with Scout, Jem also idealizes his father and looks ambitious to adopt the same profession with the aim of fighting against injustices and inequalities. As an emotional young boy, the verdict of the jury against Tom Robinson was shocking for him. Consequently, he looks determined to stand against the unjust system, which convicts the innocent and helpless individuals of society out of hatred against them. Consequently, Jem advocates for the equal status for the poor and downtrodden members of society, which makes him one of the most admired and loveable characters of the novel.


Atticus Finch

The character’s description: Atticus Finch has been depicted as a middle-aged lawyer, which enjoys a respectable status in the town. Despite his being the member of well-to-do social stratum as well as white population, he does not have any hatred or prejudice against African Americans. It is Atticus, who has taught his children the lessons of equality, modesty, morality, justice and fortitude. Despite the fact that it is very difficult to raise voice against one’s racial group and social class, Atticus observes the same for the uplift of justice and equality. He appears to be a sharp and intelligent lawyer and collects evidence while defending the accused Tom Robinson in light of the sound proofs in his defense. He has taught his children, not only through words but also through his actions, how to revolt against injustice by putting one’s life at stake. Therefore, he convinced the leader of the angry mob to shatter the crowd gathered for a lynching of a black accused of raping a white girl. In addition, he also rises to the occasion to defend an innocent person just for the sake of the uplift of law and equality, where he does not have any greed of obtaining financial benefits or fame out of the sad incident. Atticus is well-aware of the fact that his act of supporting a black man against a white family may put him and his family in grave jeopardy. Nevertheless, he happily accepted the challenge of the opposition of the majority white population while proving Tom as an innocent person. Moreover, Atticus also observed tolerance on the eve of Bob Ewell’s spitting on his face out of sheer resentment for opposing him and his daughter in favor of Tom. Since Atticus presents an image of the rebel of the prevailing social norms, cultural traits, moral values, and traditions, he is rightly declared to be the symbol of courage, dauntlessness and justice during the era when African Americans were looked down upon as inferior creatures across the country. Hence, despite the demonstration of hatred towards Atticus Finch by the majority of his white racial group living in Maycomb town, he is revered as one of the most courageous characters depicted for the condemnation of ethnic-racial discrimination.  


Bob Ewell  

The character of Bob Ewell serves the most condemnable one in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960). Hence, the author, with the help of this character, has attempted to condemn and discourage the infliction of injustice and discrimination towards the minority groups and communities co-existing with the mainstream population under the same social environment. It was Bob Ewell, false allegation of which gives a go to the future developments to be made in the novel. Even Ewell does not belong to the affluent stratum of society; somehow, he looks down upon the poor and particularly considers African Americans as inferior individuals. It is Bob Ewell, who is responsible for indictment and eventual conviction of Tom Robinson by putting allegations on Tom of raping his daughter. He appears to be a cunning, revengeful and vindictive man, who does not have mercy or care for the children even. That is not the only that indicates his racial bias by blaming Tom for raping Mayella. He also demonstrates his vindictiveness, when spitting on Finch as well as attacking his children during the night hours with the aim of killing the children in cold blood. Besides, he is a lazy man and habitual drunkard and has been fired from his job because of his sluggish nature and addiction. However, his act of uniting the white community under one banner, and convincing the jury to issue the verdict against the black accused proves him a successful statesman, who contains the capabilities of winning the favors of the masses, and mobilizing them in support of his stance, whether just or unjust. Hence, his shrewdness and cunningness assess the sentiments and emotional condition of the narrow-mindedness of the town people. They would not allow an African American even to think about tempting a white girl  Hence, despite having low financial and social status, he is in a position of winning the jury’s side. Thus, Ewell’s character maintains profound significance in nature and scope, which provides the readers with the opportunity of making a distinction between right and wrong.


Boo Radley

The character’s description of Boo Radley: he appears to be a mysterious character throughout the novel, and Jem, Scout, and Dill are terrified of him because of his appearance and enigmatic character. Boo Radley has been leading a life of and Dill is terrified of him because of his appearance and enigmatic character. Boo Radley has been leading a life of since the unknown time period, where Dill appears to be interested in exploring his personality and activities in order to come out of fear the children contain for him. Boo’s generosity is first detected by Jem and Scout, where they find the gifts in the folded knot of a tree. Therefore, the children start liking him because of his generosity, kindness, and care for the for them. Boo also saves the life of Jem and Scout by putting his own life at stake at the moment when they are attacked by the vindictive Bob Ewell during the night hours. It is also discovered that his personality is crushed by his rude and dominant father, and his father’s fear keeps him confined to his house leading a reclusive life by disconnecting himself from the outer world.

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