What is a quote that demonstrates that Bob Ewell is a bad parent in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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There are quite a few quotes that show that Bob Ewell is a poor parent. 

Right in the beginning of the book, Atticus describes Bob Ewell. He is a man who uses all of his relief checks from the government on whiskey. On account of this, his children are hungry and not taken care of.  Therefore, the community bends rules to allow Bob Ewell to hunt. Technically this is against the law, but the people know that if they did not bend the rules, Bob's children would suffer. Here is what Atticus says:

“It’s against the law, all right,” said my father, “and it’s certainly bad, but when a man spends his relief checks on green whiskey his children have a way of crying from hunger pains. I don’t know of any landowner around here who begrudges those children any game their father can hit.”

Second, it comes to light in the trial that Bob Ewell struck and beat up his own daughter, Mayella. All the evidence points to this. Here is what Atticus says:

We don’t know, but there is circumstantial evidence to indicate that Mayella Ewell was beaten savagely by someone who led almost exclusively with his left.

Finally, Bob tried to kill Atticus's children. 


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