2 Answers | Add Yours
Bob's spitting in Atticus's face is not the only response he has to the trial. Harper Lee reveals one short fact at the very end of chapter 22 in an effort to entice the reader into finding out the details of the encounter in chapter 23. As far as chapter 22 is concerned, the only response that Bob Ewell has to the trial is to spit in Atticus's face and threaten that he would "get him if it took the rest of his life" (217). However, if one reads into chapter 23 as driven by the cliffhanger at the end of chapter 22, more reactions by Bob Ewell come out one at a time. For example, according to Stephanie Crawford in chapter 23, Bob apparently said that he would kill Atticus. Both threats are scary to consider, but Atticus doesn't put much stock in them. He merely says that he wishes that Bob wouldn't chew tobacco. Jem and Scout also learn that Bob Ewell provoked Atticus to fight by saying, "Too proud to fight, you nigger-lovin' bastard?" Atticus responded by saying, "No, too old" and walked away (217).
Then, chapter 27 reveals that spitting in Atticus's face is not Bob Ewell's only response. First, he intimidates and harasses Tom's widow Helen; next, he spooks Judge Taylor by creeping around his house and slashing his back screen door on a Sunday night; and eventually, he attacks Jem and Scout on Halloween night, about three months after the trial. Bob Ewell holds the strongest grudge after the trial because Atticus didn't just roll over and accept his lies about Tom Robinson as facts. As a result of Bob Ewell not being able to get over his grudge, his responses to the trial lead him straight to his own death in chapter 28.
In the closing lines of Chapter 22, Miss Stephanie describes Bob Ewell's response to the verdict by saying, "this morning Bob Ewell stopped Atticus on the post office corner, spat in his face, and told him he'd get him if it took the rest of his life".
We’ve answered 319,857 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question