Contrast Burris Ewell with the other children in To Kill A Mockingbird. What is the reason for the description?

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bmadnick's profile pic

bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The description of Burris as crude and unclean foreshadows the later events of the novel when Tom Robinson is accused of raping Mayella Ewell. By introducing Burris, the Ewell family's history is also introduced, so we aren't shocked by what happens in the trial. Knowing this background allows us to feel some pity for Mayella when she later testifies, but we feel nothing but disgust toward Bob Ewell, knowing that he allows his children to live in such a way. This early information makes it even more sickening that Tom Robinson is found guilty.

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einsteninsdaughter's profile pic

einsteninsdaughter | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

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Burris Ewell is a very nasty, ungroomed boy. Most other student's don't go near him due to his filthiness. Other kid's also go to school other then just the first day. This description is used so you can get a feel for the Ewell family tradition of nasty.

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