What are some examples of cowardice in To Kill a Mockingbird?

A good example of cowardice in To Kill a Mockingbird can be seen in Bob Ewell's attack on Scout and Jem. This is his way of getting back at their father for making him look such a fool on the witness stand during the trial of Tom Robinson.

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Bob Ewell, the novel's antagonist , does several things that can be considered cowardly throughout the novel. Throughout the trial of Tom Robinson, Bob Ewell was exposed as an alcoholic liar who assaulted and molested his own daughter. Following the trial, Bob Ewell attempts to enact his revenge on those...

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Bob Ewell, the novel's antagonist, does several things that can be considered cowardly throughout the novel. Throughout the trial of Tom Robinson, Bob Ewell was exposed as an alcoholic liar who assaulted and molested his own daughter. Following the trial, Bob Ewell attempts to enact his revenge on those who "ruined" his reputation. In Chapter 27, Bob Ewell loses his job working for the WPA and openly accuses Atticus of getting him fired. Bob displays cowardice by not taking responsibly for being fired and blames Atticus, who had nothing to do with it. The next person Bob attempts to get back at is Judge Taylor. Bob attempts to sneak into his house but runs away like a coward when he hears Judge Taylor coming downstairs. Instead of approaching Judge Taylor face to face and expressing his grievances, Bob attempts to confront him when he least expects it, which is cowardly. Another example of cowardice throughout the novel is when Bob Ewell attempts to scare Helen Robinson by following her to work and threatening her. Threatening an innocent woman who has recently lost her husband is something only a coward would do. That example pales in comparison to Bob Ewell's most cowardly moment in the novel. In Chapter 28, Bob attempts to kill Jem and Scout when they are walking home alone after the Halloween festival at the school. Attacking defenseless children is by far the most cowardly thing an individual can do.

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Bob Ewell is undoubtedly the main villain in To Kill a Mockingbird. A racist, a liar, and a lazy, no-good father who abuses his daughter, he's certainly not the kind of man likely to win any popularity contests.

Furthermore, he's a coward. We see this on pages 264 to 265 when he launches a sudden and vicious knife attack on Scout and Jem as they're making their way home from the school pageant.

Ewell attacks the Finch children because he's still furious at their father. During the trial of Tom Robinson, Atticus, Tom's defense lawyer, exposed Ewell for the ignoramus that he is, making him look like a complete fool in front of everyone. It may not have helped to secure Tom's acquittal, but it certainly made Ewell look even worse in the eyes of his fellow citizens than previously, and that's saying something.

As a consequence of his very public humiliation, Ewell is boiling with rage, and he takes out his anger on Atticus's children, proving that he's a total coward. Thankfully, Boo Radley is on hand to protect Scout and Jem; otherwise, they would almost certainly have been killed. As Heck Tate says after in the wake of the attack, “Bob Ewell meant business.”

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