In To Kill a Mockingbird who was the Ewell family?

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lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Ewell family is a white trash family that lives in the town. Atticus tells the children that they are an embarassment to the town of Maycomb. Mayella Ewell is the young woman who accuses Tom Robinson of raping her, which is a lie. Her father, Bob Ewell, has most likely come upon her trying to seduce Tom, and Tom resisted, but Bob only saw Tom in the house with his daughter because Tom was trying to help her move a piece of furniture. Bob Ewell gives false testimony during the trial, saying he saw Tom raping Mayella. Mayella fears her father, who beats her up on a regular basis, so she gives false testimony as well. Tom is convicted of the rape based on the testimony of Bob and Mayella because even though they are white trash, they are white.

Later on in the novel, Bob Ewell follows Scout and Jem home from a school play and attacks them in the woods, trying to kill them. Boo Radley is on the scene, however, and he rescues the children by killing Bob Ewell with his own knife.

 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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