Burris Ewell and Walter Cunningham are from extremley poor families. What are differences in apperance and attitudes and why do they exist?Chapter 3 of To Kill A Mockingbird.

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Burris Ewell and Walter Cunningham are indeed poor.  Their families are very poor and rarely have enough to eat or proper clothing to wear.  The Cunnighams and the Ewells have totally different value systems.  

Cunningham's family is a proud family.  They do not accept charity and they are upright citizens.  The Ewells on the other hand are not of the same value system.  Burris' father Bob, is a drunken cruel father who does not take care of his children.  The Ewell family represents evil and anger. Bob Ewell abuses his children and the children abuse others.

We get a good idea of the type of family Walter comes from when Scout tries to tell the new teacher that Walter won't take money from anyone and that he is proud.  As my Grandmother used to tell me, you sometimes could not help being poor, but you could be a proud and clean poor family.  You didn't have to be white trash.  The Ewells would have been considered white trash. 

Walter (Cunningham) is welcomed into the home by Atticus. The Ewell family, on the other hand, in no way fits into Maycomb society. They even live on the edge of town. Burris and his father refuse to obey the school attendance rules and the hunting regulations of Maycomb. Society elects to turn a blind eye on these activities.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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