CHARACTER CONFLICTS IN TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
ATTICUS FINCH. Atticus' primary conflict comes with his decision to defend Tom Robinson, a black man, on the charge of raping Mayella Ewell, a white woman. Atticus knows that many of the townspeople will not approve of his decision, and that it may bring problems for himself and his family. He also worries about how he raises his children, hoping he is making the right decisions and that they will come to him when they need advice.
SCOUT FINCH. Scout has many conflicts during the novel, including whether she should return to school after a bad first day in the first grade. She has trouble holding her tongue--and fists--when other children insult her father. She feels guilty about her harrassment of Boo Radley after finally realizing that he is a friendly man and not some sort of monster.
JEM FINCH. Jem has to deal with the onrush of adolescence, and he is devastated by the outcome of the Tom Robinson trial. He finds himself drifting apart from his younger sister, but he heroically defends her in the final chapters.
DILL HARRIS. Dill desperately seeks the love of his mother and father, who seem to prefer doing things without Dill. Consequently, Dill is happiest during his summers in Maycomb, but his wild tales about his life in Meridian are a cry for attention.
BOO RADLEY. Little is known of Boo's thoughts or actions, but he has made a conscious decision to remain in his house and apart from the outside world. However, he must be keeping a close watch out for his young friends, Jem and Scout, because he comes to their rescue at the end of the story.
MAYELLA EWELL. Mayella must have had some remorse for falsely charging Tom Robinson with raping her, but the pressure (and probable threats of violence) put upon her by her father, Bob, forces her to follow his lead.
TOM ROBINSON. Tom must know that he has little chance of being freed by a white jury, even though Atticus assures him that he has a chance of being released upon appeal. However, Tom loses faith once he is sent to prison, and he can't abide by Atticus' promise to not give up hope. He decides to run once again, and is shot to death by the prison guards.