Flat Character In To Kill A Mockingbird

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slcollins's profile pic

slcollins | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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Miss Maudie is a good example of a flat character. She maintains the same outlook and characteristics throughout the novel. She starts and ends the novel acting as a voice of reason for the kids, always explaining and supporting Atticus's actions and motivations. She is one of the few characters who never openly admonishes Atticus for taking Tom Robinson's case. Her optimism and positive outlook remain steady, even after she loses her house in the fire. Throughout the book, she also represents the more open-minded person who sees the error in Maycomb's social structure. She rebuffs Miss Merriweather's hypocrisy at the tea when Aunt Alexandra cannot.

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litgeek2015 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Bob Ewell is a perfect example of a flat character, also known as a static character. He experiences no personal growth over the course of the story. He begins the book as a bigot and ends as a bigot. 

As the trial unfolds the readers come to realize that Bob Ewell has been physically, verbally, and possibly sexually abusing his daughter, Mayella, for a long time. He is a racist, an alcoholic, and an abuser. 

Sadly, after the trial he is so angry at the Atticus for bringing some of this to light  that he decides to get his revenge by attacking Jem and Scout on their way home one night. Although one might see this as an escalation of his violent behavior, it really is not because he has always been violent. He is simply directing his anger and violence at someone else's children in this instance rather than his own.

Ultimately, Bob Ewell dies because Boo Radley stabs him to stop him from attacking the kids. Ewell never learns anything and never changes in any way.