Describe the Ewell family from the novel To Kill a Mockingbird.

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mrwickline eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Ewell family is considered “poor white trash” in Maycomb County, and they live behind the town garbage dump in an "old Negro cabin." (17.227) Atticus described the Ewells as being the disgrace of Maycomb County for three generations. He said, “They were people, but they lived like animals.” (3.40) Their yard consisted of trash, broken objects, and remnants of worthless antiques scattered throughout the plot of ground. The father of the household, Robert Ewell, is an alcoholic who spends his relief checks on booze and has no integrity or respect. The Ewells have been thriving off county welfare money for three generations and savage through the garbage of the town dump every day.  Scout describes Burris Ewell, a pupil in her class, as the filthiest human she had ever seen. The community members of Maycomb continually turn a “blind eye” and grant the Ewells certain privileges like, not going to school and hunting out of season. The Ewells are responsible for Tom Robinson’s arrest by falsely accusing him of raping the eldest Ewell daughter, Mayella.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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