What Three Things Does Bob Ewell Do That Alarm Aunt Alexandra?

In chapter 27 of To Kill A Mockingbird, what three things does Bob Ewell do that alarm Aunt Alexandra?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In To Kill A Mockingbird, it seems that the residents of Maycomb County do not learn from their own mistakes. Tom Robinson, an innocent man, has been tried and convicted and is dead. Scout, the narrator, recalling the events, recognizes the hypocrisy of the locals and asks Jem in chapter 26 how it is possible to "hate Hitler so bad an' then turn around and be ugly about folks right at home?" She has learned from her father, Atticus, not to judge others and yet she sees people being unnecessarily unkind. Atticus hopes she understands from everything that he has taught her that people have "blind spots" which prevent them from being rational and fair. She knows that she should not judge them however because as early as chapter 3, Atticus told her that "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view." It seems the Maycomb residents do not share this opinion or Atticus's integrity. 

Bob Ewell is Mayella's father and is a poor role model. He does not care for his children and it is his apparent beating of Mayella that started the tragic turn of events and led to Tom's death after Tom had felt sorry for Mayella and been blamed for her assault and accused of rape. In chapter 27 Bob Ewell has been given a job by the WPA (the Works Progress Administration), an organization set up to ease unemployment and to help the otherwise jobless perform functional tasks and works. His enthusiasm is short-lived and it is significant and ironic that he loses a job created to help him and people like him. He lasts less than a week and blames everyone else and especially Atticus for his misfortune. 

Another significant occurrence is how Judge Taylor deals with a prowler at his home one Sunday night. Presumably the would-be burglar thought no one was home. The judge takes it in his stride but sits with his shotgun across his lap. He does not get a good look at the "visitor" but seems unperturbed. He is certainly prepared to act against the intruder who is assumed to be Bob Ewell.  

Scout also tells the reader how Maycomb residents soon forgot about Tom Robinson and Bob Ewell and even Boo Radley. Tom's employer (Link Deas) however gives Tom's widow a job even though he doesn't really need her assistance. Bob Ewell makes Helen Robinson feel afraid as he follows her and berates her and it is necessary for Mr. Link Deas to intervene on her behalf.

It is Bob Ewell's behavior which alarms Aunt Alexandra. He loses his job and blames Atticus. He sneaks around at the Judge's home in the dark and he threatens Tom's widow Helen. It seems that even though his daughter won in court, he holds a grudge against the people who tried to do the right thing. He is apparently bitter because, as Atticus points out to Aunt Alexandra, "He thought he’d be a hero, but all he got for his pain was… was, okay, we’ll convict this Negro but get back to your dump."  

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Bob Ewell's behavior took a turn for the worse in Chapter 27. First, Bob got a job and then lost it within a week. He made it known that it was Atticus Finch who got him fired from the WPA. Next, Judge Taylor discovered a prowler on his back porch, though he never got a clear look at the intruder. Then, Ewell began stalking Tom Robinson's widow, Helen. He "chunked at her" as she walked along the public road. Later he followed after, "crooning foul words" along the way. Her employer, Link Deas, threatened Bob, and Ewell left Helen alone after that. Aunt Alexandra was worried about Bob taking out his grudge on Atticus, and she told him so.

"I don't like it, Atticus. I don't like it at all."
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To Kill a Mockingbird

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