In To kill a mockingbird, are their any traits of violence? from which character? and how?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Bob Ewell is depicted as a violent, malevolent man who not only assaults his daughter after witnessing her kiss Tom Robinson, but also attempts to murder Jem and Scout while they are walking home from the Maycomb Halloween festival. Fortunately, Boo Radley intervenes and ends up preventing Bob Ewell from seriously harming the Finch children.

The members of the Old Sarum bunch, who are members of the Cunningham family, are also depicted as violent individuals at times. On the night before the trial, the Old Sarum bunch travels to the Maycomb jailhouse and attempts to lynch Tom Robinson. However, Atticus and his children prevent the mob from harming Tom before the trial.

Scout is also depicted as a violent character at times. Toward the beginning of the novel, Scout is portrayed as a hotheaded child who physically retaliates when provoked. There are several scenes that depict Scout beating up children her age. Scout fights Walter Cunningham Jr. on the playground, punches Francis Hancock in the teeth, beats up Dill several times, and even punches Jem after he threatens to spank her.

James Kelley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There's violence (depending on how you define it, of course) all over the place in Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Some of violence is easily recognized, such as Bob Ewell's attack on (and attempt to kill) Scout and Jem or the lynch mob's planned murder of Tom Robinson. Other instances of violence are much more subtle, such as Jem's statement, at the end of chapter 1, that you can get a turtle to come out of its shell by lighting a match under it. Dill characterizes such treatment of a turtle as "hateful'; he uses the same word to talk about how the prosecuting attorney torments Tom Robinson on the witness stand.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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