Homework Help

Who is Uncle Jimmy in To Kill a Mockingbird?

user profile pic

spral20 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 22, 2009 at 10:59 AM via web

dislike 1 like

Who is Uncle Jimmy in To Kill a Mockingbird?

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

jrbyron | College Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted April 22, 2009 at 4:06 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 4 like

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Uncle Jimmy is James "Jimmy" Hancock, the husband of Atticus's sister (and Scout's aunt) Alexandra Hancock.  In the course of the novel, Scout mentions that she had never taken notice of Uncle Jimmy because the only words he ever spoke to her was to tell her to get off of a fence.  Scout mentions that Alexandra herself did not take much notice of her husband either, suggesting that they do not have a happy or close marriage.  Uncle Jimmy is the father of Alexandra's son Henry and the grandfather of Alexandra's son Francis.  Uncle Jimmy does not go to Maycomb with his wife but, instead, stays at home.  When Scout asks Alexandra whether she misses her husband, Alexandra doesn't respond.  This leads Scout to state that "Uncle Jimmy present or Uncle Jimmy absent made not much difference, he never said anything."  For Scout, Uncle Jimmy is a non-descript, silent man who seems to be of virtually no importance to her, his wife, or the story itself.

user profile pic

Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted January 16, 2015 at 7:11 PM (Answer #2)

dislike 1 like

You're right, some of these minor characters in To Kill a Mockingbird are hard to keep straight. As a precursor, I should mentions something about the Finch family.  Put simply, Atticus has one brother and one sister:  Jack and Alexandra.  These are Scout's "Uncle Jack" and "Aunt Alexandra."

Uncle Jack is NOT Uncle Jimmy! 

Aunty [Alexandra] and Uncle Jimmy produced a son named Henry, who left home as soon as was humanly possible, married, and produced Francis. Henry and his wife deposited Francis at his grandparents' every Christmas, then pursued their own pleasures.

Let's make it simple.  Uncle Jimmy is Aunt Alexandra's husband.  In fact, Aunt Alexandra's married name is Alexandra Finch Hancock (because she married Jimmy Hancock). Therefore, he is not a "blood" Finch, but married into the family.  Alexandra & Jimmy live at "Finch's Landing," which is the family plot of land.  Aunt Alexandra and Aunt Jimmy have one son:  Henry.  Henry is grown up, left home (quickly), married, and had his own son:  Francis. 

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes