What is the only thing Bob Ewell has that his black neighbors lack in To Kill a Mockingbird? (It is found in Chapter 17.)

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Bob Ewell, whose family has been the "disgrace of Maycomb for three generations," was named after Confederate hero Robert E. Lee. According to Scout, she

... saw no resemblance to his namesake.  (Chapter 17)

Ewell was "a little bantam cock of a man" with a "neck reddening" who "strutted" and "crowed" as he took the witness stand. The Ewells lived adjacent to the town dump and just a few hundred yards away from Maycomb's African American residential area known as the Quarters. Bob was probably aware that he was just barely higher on the Maycomb social ladder than his neighbors in the Quarters. (According to Jem's social order of Maycomb in Chapter 23, the Ewells are in a class by themselves just above the town's Negroes.) To Scout, there was just one obvious difference.

All the little man on the witness stand had that made him any better than his nearest neighbors was, that if scrubbed with lye soap in very hot water, his skin was white. (Chapter 17)   

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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