Characters of “To Kill A Mockingbird”

The author of the very well-known novel, “To Kill A Mockingbird” is named Harper Lee. Lee wrote the novel in 1959 and published it in 1960; she later wrote a follow-up novel, “Go Set A Watchmen” telling where the Finch family stands years later. Lee was born on April 28, 1926 and was born and raised in Monroeville, Alabama. Her love for English literature began in her high school years and played out through college after graduating high school in 1994. Harper Lee died many years after her successes at the age of 89 on February 19, 2016.

“To Kill A Mockingbird” sets wayback in the late 1920’s to early 1930’s during the Great Depression. The setting and location of this novel takes place in a small fictional town called Maycomb, Alabama. Everybody in the small town of Maycomb knows just about everybody and the distance between all the markets, jail, tribune, etc. is just about the same walking distance for everybody unless you’re up the county a little more than others.

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The town separates the colored people from the white as that is how it was back then. The town is basically divided into a colored part of town and a white part of town, where the colored folks work as slaves for the white folks.

Atticus, Jem and Scout’s father changes to be a better man and better father than what he already was. He learns as his children are growing up that they are in fact good children and have actually learned from his lessons.

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He tends to loosen up on them and know that they are responsible enough to not make silly decisions that’ll end up hurting them in the future. I think it makes his character more admirable than what it was before. Atticus’s internal conflict would have to be his debate on whether he should or shouldn’t defend Tom Robinson in court. His external conflict would have to be the disagreements from the people of Maycomb and the way their opinions affect his children. Atticus ends up learning to trust his children a little more. Atticus’s FOIL character is his sister, Aunt Alexandra. While Atticus lets loose with not only his children, but others as well; his sister is more uptight and sticks to the rules and books, and she shows it. 'I can't say I approve of everything he does, Maudie, but he's my brother, and I just want to know when this will ever end.' (24)

Scout, the baby of the Finch family, changes by getting getting a lot more mature, and having perspective changes. She also learns more lessons and manners form others she may not have noticed until later just by growing throughout the story. I think of Scout the same because I’ve always seen her as a tough one and the way she changes does not in fact change my thoughts on her..The only internal conflict Scout has with herself is at the Radley tree where she found the gum. At first she was afraid to eat it from poisoning, but eventually ate the gum anyway. An external conflict scout encounters is when she was explaining history of other children to her teacher. Her teacher did not agree with the way she was acting and therefore it led to the beating of Walter Cunningham produced by Scout. Scout learned how to be mature and a respectful girl without even realizing it as she grows. The FOIL character of Scout is her cousin, Francis Hancock. If scout were to say to do something, Francis would not. If she were to say not to, he would just to spite her. “He was the most boring child I ever met.” (9)

Jem, the eldest son in the Finch family changes throughout the story by growing from a boy to a man. He also learns to stand his ground and get more confident in himself and his decisions to get a point across. His changes make him more interesting to me because of the fact that he was this immature little kid and then out of nowhere he becomes a man who’s too old for nonsense and silly games. An internal conflict for Jem is with himself, basically becoming and growing into a man. He’s growing apart from his sister. A major external conflict for Jem is Bob Ewell. Jem had to show true courage while trying to escape him and his sister out of a life or death situation against Bob. A moral Jem learned about at the end was of the word courage. He used courage to get through so many obstacles throughout the book and showed his biggest point of courage at the end. Jem’s FOIL character is Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose. Whenever Jem would pass her house, they’d always get in fights and go back and forth at each other; they have different views on many things. “He did not begin to calm down until he had cut the tops off every camellia bush Mrs. Dubose owned…” (11) Mrs. Dubose made Jem so angry at times he forgot about acting like a gentleman to a lady.

Boo Radley, the mysterious next door neighbor to the Finch’s starts to get out of his house more still without being seen throughout the story. He gets more comfortable in being around the children (Scout, Jem, Dill). These changes made me think of him as a bigger and stronger person because of how quick he became comfortable in himself and the children. An internal conflict with Boo was even just to step out of the house. In the end he chose to eventually do so. An external conflict was with the children because of how much they bugged him and invaded his life. I don’t think anything was taught to Boo Radley by the end of the book. The FOIL character of Boo is his brother. Although the book doesn’t show much banter between them and much differences, it does give us hints at how different they are. For ex.) Boo would put presents near the Finch's tree almost everyday and Nathan Radley came and out cement in the hole the presents would go in. “-did you put cement in that hole in that tree down yonder?” “”Yes,” he said. “”I filled it up.”” (7) Nathan would rather stay to themselves while Boo would rather come out of their shell.

Mrs. Caroline Fisher

  1. Mrs. Caroline was a new teacher in the town of Maycomb and she was Scout’s first grade teacher.
  2. She was mainly associated with Scout for she was her teacher
  3. Mrs. Caroline pushed Scout’s knowledge about the town history and made Scout ponder more about her family’s knowledge.

Walter Cunningham

  1. Walter cunningham is in the same grade as Scout and was introduced in the story during their lunch while he didn’t have any.
  2. Walter associates more with Jem and Scout
  3. Walter brought out Scout’s anger and short temper

Burris Ewell

  1. Burris was older than Scout, but in the same grade as her. He was introduced when Mrs. Caroline mistakenly ordered him to go home.
  2. Walter associates with his family, the Ewells
  3. Burris made people realize just how rude the Ewell’s really were.

Dill Harris

  1. Dill is first talked about when Scout and Jem find him in his aunt’s backyard during one of their summers.
  2. Dill associates with the Finch’s a lot and Mrs. Rachel occasionally.
  3. Dill brings out the Finch’s cowardness and courage

Nathan Radley

  1. Nathan is first brought up in a story about the Radleys
  2. He is most associated with the stories of the Radleys and Jem
  3. He represents Radley history

Aunt Alexandra

  1. Aunt Alexandra is introduced during a surprise visit
  2. She is most associated with the Finchs
  3. She brings out Scout’s stubbornness and tomboy ways

Uncle Jack

  1. Uncle Jack is first brought up in a talk about the Finch Family
  2. He’s mostly associated with Atticus Finch
  3. He brings out the wisdom in Scout Finch

Francis Hancock

  1. Francis is first brought up during a family Christmas dinner with the Finchs
  2. He is associated with Scout Finch
  3. He brings out the defence in Scout. She would defend the people she loved with anything he said against them.

Tim Johnson

  1. Tim Johnson was walking on the streets and was announced as a mad dog. He had rabies.
  2. Although Tim associated with everyone on the street, he mainly associated with Atticus
  3. He brought the history of Atticus and the realization that Atticus can do something other than read to Jem.

Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose

  1. Mrs. Dubose was first made a character when Jem and Scout were walking past her house to get to school.
  2. Mrs. Dubose associates more with Jem, but with all three Finchs as well
  3. I think she brought out the man and adulthood in Jem

Raymond Dolphus

  1. Raymond was first introduced at court when everyone was eating and he was with the colored folks. Jem explained his history to Scout and Dill.
  2. He was associated with the colored and white folks as he had mixed children
  3. I think he and his family represented sadness and confusion amongst most people in Maycomb

Tom Robinson

  1. He was announced and accused with rape charges against a Ewell and was talked about by Atticus for his case
  2. He is mainly associated with Mayella Ewell and Atticus Finch
  3. I think he brings out the innocents of colored folks, but how wrongly and unfair they were treated back in the time the book takes place.

Mayella Ewell

  1. Mayella was first talked about in the courtroom as the girl who accused Tom Robinson of raping her.
  2. She associates with Bob Ewell, Tom Robinson, Atticus Finch, and Judge Taylor.
  3. Mayella represents loneliness and patheticness, and shows people that it’s not easy to conceal the sadness that rots away at somebody. No matter how good you think you are.


  1. Calpurnia is introduced at the beginning of the story as the cook for the Finchs
  2. Calpurnia is associated with the Finchs
  3. Calpurnia made Jem and Scout who they are basically. She the one to teach them their manners, along with Atticus, and basically taught them to be good people to everyone and everything, even it was hard at times. She disciplined them.


Updated: Dec 12, 2023
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Characters of “To Kill A Mockingbird”. (2021, Sep 14). Retrieved from

Characters of “To Kill A Mockingbird” essay
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