On what page does Bob Ewell say "Too proud to fight, you nigger-lovin' bastard?" in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The incident between Bob Ewell and Atticus is described at the beginning of Chapter 23.

After the trial of Tom Robinson, Bob Ewell wants to get revenge on Atticus.  Atticus defended Tom Robinson, the black man accused of raping his daughter.  Although Robinson was convicted, many people in Maycomb were convinced that he was actually innocent.  This embarrassed Bob Ewell.

Ewell stopped Atticus on the street and proceeded to threaten and verbally abuse him.  His children did not see it, but heard about it later.

Miss Stephanie said Atticus didn’t bat an eye, just took out his handkerchief and wiped his face and stood there and let Mr. Ewell call him names wild horses could not bring her to repeat. (Ch. 23, p. 249)

Ewell is frustrated with Atticus’s response to his threats.  Bob Ewell is a drunkard who beats his children and lives off of welfare, while Atticus is an accomplished lawyer.  The town has no respect for Ewell, but a growing respect for the man who defended his daughter’s accused rapist.  Ewell, a “veteran of an obscure war” gets irritated when Atticus will not fight, and asks him if he is "too proud to fight" (p. 249).

Miss Stephanie said Atticus said, “No, too old,” put his hands in his pockets and strolled on. Miss Stephanie said you had to hand it to Atticus Finch, he could be right dry sometimes. (Ch. 23, p. 249)

Scout and Jem do not appreciate Atticus’s sense of humor.  They are concerned that Atticus is in danger and will never defend himself.  Even though he is a sure-shot with a rifle, they know that Atticus won’t even carry a gun.  He tells his children that Ewell is all talk and he accomplished what he needed to when he spit in Atticus’s face.

Atticus is wrong.  Ewell decides to pick on someone not his own size.  He attacks Atticus’s children at night on Halloween when they would least expect it.  Fortunately for them, Boo Radley is watching them and comes to their rescue.  He kills Bob Ewell and takes them home.

Please note that page numbers vary by book edition, but your quote is at the very beginning of Chapter 23 and should not be that hard to find in your book.  Page 249 is the Fortieth Anniversary Edition.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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