In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, what were the opportunities that Bob Ewell could have told the truth about his lie and set Tom Robinson free?

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writergal06 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

From the beginning, Bob should have told the truth. He choose to press charges against Tom for something that Tom did not do. Atticus does a good job of showing that Bob was most likely the abuser. Bob sent for the sheriff to arrest Tom and Bob had clearly threatened Mayella about telling the story that she was beaten and raped by Bob. There is no evidence given to support that fact that she was raped at all. Bob could have not said anything at all, and the whole situation would have been avoided.

Other than that, Bob is given the opportunity of the witness stand to set the record straight. Atticus's questioning of Bob leads to the knowledge that Bob was the one who beat his daughter. Even though Atticus has clearly shown Tom's inability to create the injuries that Mayella had, Bob still sticks by his story. When the verdict came back "guilty" Bob could have stood up and confessed to his own guilt and the innocence of Tom. He continually refused to act in an honest manner, instead enacting revenge on Atticus through the attempted physical assault (and ultimately attempting to murder) Atticus's children, which shows that the only recourse that Bob knows when he doesn't like a situation is to physical hurt those he is angry at.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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