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What type of bullying is used in "To Kill a Mockingbird"? How does it affect the victims?

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nicolearlene | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 13, 2009 at 3:46 AM via web

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What type of bullying is used in "To Kill a Mockingbird"? How does it affect the victims?

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 13, 2009 at 5:18 AM (Answer #1)

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They bullying in the book is evident on different levels.  You have the more childlike bullying that Scout gives to her cousin, Walter Cunningham, and others that speak poorly of her father.  The victims here either receive the satisfaction of having riled Scout, or a good beating.  There is the "bullying" that Jem gives Scout when she whines about not wanting to harrass Boo Radley, which is more in the form of mockery or dismissal, and prompts her to exhibit her bravery.

The more serious examples of bullying occur in regards to the Tom Robinson case.  Atticus indicates that a Cunningham on the jury did his best to stand up for what was right, but most likely peer pressure and bullying got him in the end; the effect was a guilty conviction for Tom.  Bob Ewell bullies Atticus and his family, first verbally, and then through his actual attack.  The effect of that attack was huge; Boo Radley saved the day, Scout and Jem were traumatized, and it was an event that they pondered for the rest of their lives.  Tom Robinson himself was bullied by the Ewells in their false testimonies, and when he was shot at the end.  His family is forever impacted by those events.

There are many instances of bullying. some pretty harmless and others life-changing and cruel.  Either way, they all had an effect on the victims one way or another.

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