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How would you describe the Ewell family in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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anna101 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted November 11, 2008 at 7:46 AM via web

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How would you describe the Ewell family in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 11, 2008 at 9:49 AM (Answer #1)

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The Ewells represent one of the lowest classes of people in Maycomb. They are what was considered "poor white trash". The only lower class in the town were Blacks. This is why Tom Ewell can be so condescending on Tom and why the jury feels it must convict Tom of a crime they probably know he didn't commit. To do otherwise would upset the balance of the social fabric of Southern society, of which Maycomb is part. To allow a Black man to go free after being accused of attacking a White woman, even one as poor and low class as Mayella, would have been unthinkable. That is why Atticus knows he will lose the trial, but has hopes for the case on appeal. He knows Tom will be convicted solely because he is Black and Mayella is White. However, somewhere in the appeals process, he and Tom might prevail. Unfortunately, Tom is killed before the appeals process can even begin. And that is why Bob Ewell attacks Atticus' children. He felt his reputation and standing in the community, even though it was low, had been made lower and he had been embarrassed because he knew people believed a Black man instead of him.

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tpisano | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted November 11, 2008 at 8:44 AM (Answer #3)

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The Ewell family is disfunctional.  The father, Bob Ewell, is an alocoholic; the daughter, Mayella Ewell, is a lonley girl who has to suffer the abuse of her father; and, the other Ewell children only go to school each year on the first day.


They are a poor family and they are looked down upon by the community.

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imaninmalik | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 12, 2008 at 10:48 AM (Answer #4)

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i would say they are diffrent and low class people...they stay behind the grabage dump and they arent very socailizable

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nastyent123 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 25, 2010 at 11:24 AM (Answer #2)

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i would describe the family as an uneducated family

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zumba96 | TA , Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted December 24, 2014 at 11:01 PM (Answer #6)

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The Ewells are basically "white trash". The whole situation of Tom Robinson began because of the Ewells. They are also dangerous and they are racist. Bob Ewell beats on his daughter and this crime was forced on an innocent man. Because of people like this, the morals of the town become similar to theirs, with no morals whatsoever. 

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srrmcneil | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 11, 2008 at 8:39 AM (Answer #5)

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 i would describe his family kinda mean and need to get it together cause bob is a alcholic that need to be help cause he is beating on his daughter

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