How does To Kill a Mockingbird connect to the seven deadly sins?Is there any evidence of lust, wrath, pride, greed, sloth, envy, or gluttony evident in the novel?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an excellent question and, yes, there are examples to be found within the novel of the seven deadly sins: envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth and wrath. Most of them can be associated with the Ewell family. Mayella is overcome by a lustful feeling for Tom, which leads to the rape charges against him and Bob into a wrathful desire for vengeance against Atticus and his family. The "disgrace of Maycomb for three generations," the Ewells are a slothful lot who live adjacent to the town dump and pick through it regularly. Bob's son, Burris, appears at school filthy and lice-ridden; meanwhile, Bob greedily drinks up his welfare check instead of providing properly for his children. Part of Bob's motivation comes from his envious desire to inch up Maycomb's social ladder: The Ewells are not quite at the bottom, but as the trashiest family in Maycomb, they are perceived to be only slightly better off than the town's Negro population. Tom takes a proud stand when he decides to tell the truth about the incident with Mayella, even though it contradicts the testimony of the Ewells. Mrs. Dubose's pride is strong and important enough for her to win her battle against morphine addiction before her death. As for gluttony, perhaps the most obvious example comes when a hungry Walter Cunningham Jr. drenches his dinner--meat and vegetables and all--with syrup: a luxury not afforded by his poverty-stricken family.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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