What is the irony that lies within the justice system concerning the Ewell family in To Kill a Mockingbird? Please give two quotes.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus rarely has a bad word to say about anyone, but even he recognizes that the Ewell family has been

... the disgrace of Maycomb for three generations.

The trashy family appropriately lives adjacent to the town dump, where Bob's children play and scavenge. He does not allow his children to attend school regularly; instead, they show up on the first day so that the local truant officer will bother them no further. Bob does not work but he does receive a welfare check, which he drinks up instead of tending to his family's needs. Bob hunts out-of-season, but authorities turn a blind eye since they know his children need the food. Bob prowls about the neighborhood, stalks Tom Robinson's widow, and threatens to kill Atticus. Despite Bob's transgressions, he is never punished by the law. Yet, when it comes to the accusations made against Tom Robinson, the jury chooses to believe Bob's and Mayella's version of the events, disregarding Tom's crippled arm and his own truthful testimony. The supreme irony is that Bob, the sorriest citizen in Maycomb, is white; and a white man's word still trumps the word of a black man.

"The jury couldn't possibly be expected to take Tom Robinson's word against the Ewells'... This case is as simple as black and white."

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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