Conflicts In To Kill A Mockingbird

What are some conflicts in To Kill a Mockingbird?

Find conflicts within the book.

A central conflict of the story is the racism apparent in Maycomb. Atticus is teaching his children to treat everyone equally despite the racism of their town, and he is defending an innocent black man, who ultimately suffers due to the racial bias of the jury. There are other conflicts too, especially the fear surrounding Boo, as well as Mayella's relationship with her father. Various other characters also have their own quarrels with others in the town.

Expert Answers

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Here are a dozen examples of conflict within To Kill a Mockingbird.

  • Boo Radley and his father. Boo's father hid him away inside the Radley house following Boo's arrest. Boo later stabbed him in the leg with a pair of scissors.
  • Miss Caroline and Scout.  Miss Caroline didn't approve of Scout's ability to read and write cursive.
  • Miss Caroline and Burris Ewell.  Burris threatened his teacher after she complained about his dirty appearance and head lice.
  • Scout and Walter Cunningham Jr.  Scout beat up Walter after she determined it was his fault that she got in trouble with Miss Caroline.
  • Scout and Calpurnia.  Calpurnia punishes Scout after Scout questions Walter's use of syrup on all of his food.
  • Scout and Aunt Alexandra.  Aunt Alexandra refused to allow Walter to visit the house because "he is trash."
  • Scout and Cousin Francis.  After Cousin Francis calls Atticus a "nigger-lover," Scout split her knuckle on his teeth.
  • Jem and Mrs. Dubose.  After Mrs. Dubose insulted Scout and Atticus, Jem destroyed her camellias. Jem then had to read to her for a month, extending the conflict even further.
  • Bob Ewell and Atticus.  Bob spit tobacco in Atticus' face and threatened him.
  • Bob Ewell and Helen Robinson.  Bob stalked Tom's wife and threatened her.
  • Mayella Ewell and Tom Robinson.  Mayella's accusations got Tom arrested for rape; Tom denied it and blamed Mayella.
  • Miss Maudie and Miss Merriweather.  After Miss Merriweather insulted Atticus, Miss Maudie icily retorted.
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