To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee emphasizes the horrors of prejudice that allows one man to destroy another based solely on skin color. Lee portrays Bob Ewell as an embodiment of racial hatred and lack of moral integrity. The story takes place in a small southern town where prejudice is a way of life. When faced with the possibility of his daughter wanting a black man, Ewell beats her out of enmity towards the black race and blames the man for Ewell’s own actions. Bob Ewell suffers no guilt for the lies he spreads due to his abusive behavior, unprincipled mindset and prejudiced outlook.
Bob Ewell’s behavior is characterized best when Miss Stephanie explains “this morning Mr. Bob Ewell stopped Atticus on the post office corner, spat in his face, and told him he’d get him if it took the rest of his life’. Ewell’s initial reaction to seeing Atticus is to disrespect him and spit on him. This reflects deeply on his character, as it shows that he is probably abusive and disrespectful to everyone no matter what their background is.
Ewell lived without a conscience and made immoral decisions without a hint of guilt. Ewell demonstrates his unscrupulous mindset when he attempts to kill Atticus’ children* to get revenge on Atticus for defending a black man, even though Ewell won the trial.
Of every one of Ewell’s malevolent traits, his prejudice is his most predominant. Ewell clearly states his racism when he says “He stood up and pointed his finger at Tom Robinson. ‘I seen that black negro yonder ruttin’ on my Mayella!'” He refers to Tom as an animal by using the term “ruttin’” and uses vulgar language to further show his disgust in people different than him.
In the story, Bob Ewell gets a man sentenced to prison/death not because of his wrongdoings, but because of his ethnicity. I believe this morally wrong and that being able to show your hatred publicly and acting on it should be stopped at all costs. This book is a prime example of why.
Courtney from Study Moose
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