How does Bob Ewell cause problems for Helen Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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amarang9's profile pic

amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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After Tom's trial and death, Mr. Link Deas, who was Tom's employer, gave Helen a job so she could feed her children. Still feeling the need to blame others for his own misfortunes, Bob Ewell continued to harass Helen to the point that she would have to walk a mile out of her way en route to work in order to avoid the Ewells. Evidently, he had his family throw rocks at her when she walked by. Mr. Deas walked her home when he found this out and hollered at the Ewell's house to leave Helen alone. However, Bob Ewell followed her to work the next day. Mr. Deas threatened Mr. Ewell with assault and when Mr. Ewell scoffed at the assault charge, Mr. Deas threatened him with a charge of the Lady's Law which is essentially threatening to charge him with stalking or harassment. After this, Helen didn't report any more trouble with Mr. Ewell. 

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mlsldy3's profile pic

mlsldy3 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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Atticus has proven that Tom is innocent, but the jury convicts him anyway. After Tom is killed, his widow, Helen, needs to find a way to support herself and her children. Rev. Sykes tries to help and guide her. Link Deas, who was Tom's employer, gives her a job, so she can support herself. She is very grateful for the chance and feels like she can provide for her family. 

Bob Ewell is a nasty man, who is not happy with anything. He still sees Atticus and Helen as obstacles in his life. He starts to follow Helen on her way to and from work. His family mistreats her if they get the chance. He has enlisted them to held in his plan. He frightens Helen so much, that she finally tells Link Deas what is going on. Mr. Deas walks her home so she won't be alone and the subject to more torment. Mr. Deas finally has enough of Bob and threatens to call the police and have him arrested if he doesn't stop. This scares Bob off, so he focuses his attention to getting back at Atticus.

Bob Ewell is the kind of man that doesn't care about anything. He is mean and hateful and always has been. Helen has done nothing to hurt anybody. Her husband was innocent but sent to prison and then killed. She is trying to take care of her family, and Bob doesn't want her to be able to do that, but in the end Bob gets what is coming to him and Helen is able to take care of herself and her family.

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tinicraw's profile pic

tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In chapter 27, Bob Ewell takes out his anger and frustration on anyone who was against him during the trial of Tom Robinson. Bob spits in Atticus's face and threatens to kill him; then he stalks Judge Taylor and slashes his backdoor screen; and finally, he stalks Tom's widow, Helen. Bob Ewell must have nothing better to do than act on his impulsive prejudices because what he does to Helen is creepy. First, the Ewell children "chunk" at her when she walks past their house on the public road. This means they spit chunks of mucus at her. After Link Deas yells at Bob Ewell and his family for doing that, Ewell follows Helen to work on the same public road to intimidate her. Helen thinks she could hear him speaking obscenities under his breath at her. Link Deas steps up for Helen by threatening Ewell with assault charges if he continues such behavior. Ewell argues that he didn't touch Helen, but Link says that if Ewell even makes his cook feel afraid, he will press charges. Luckily, Ewell left Helen alone after being threatened by Deas. If Link Deas didn't stand up against Ewell, though, there might have been even more trouble for Helen.

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