Who do you believe Atticus thought killed Bob Ewell????Hi! Recently, my American Lit. class had to read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. As I'm sure you all know, in the last scene Atticus is...

Who do you believe Atticus thought killed Bob Ewell????

Hi!

Recently, my American Lit. class had to read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. As I'm sure you all know, in the last scene Atticus is talking to Heck Tate, and he sort of appears to believe Jem killed Bob Ewell. The rest of my class (including the teacher) thought that Atticus actually believed that Jem killed Bob Ewell. I personally thought that Arthur "Boo" Radley killed Bob Ewell and Atticus was doing "If I can persuade you that he did it I'll persuade myself". To me, he apeared to believe that Boo killed him especially with the coment at the end of chapter 30, where he says, "Thank you for my children." Just like your thoughts on who you thought Atticus believed killed Bob Ewell.  Sorry for the length!!!!!!!

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billdelaney's profile pic

William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I believe you are clearly correct in thinking that it was Boo Radley who killed Bob Ewell. I am surprised that the rest of your class (including your teacher!!) could have thought that Ewell was killed by Jem. The actual murderer had to be left ambiguous in order for the sheriff to be able to decide not to investigate the death and in order for Atticus to be able to accept the sheriff's decision without going against his terribly strict conscience. This part of the story is unsatisfactory, in my opinion. Ewell is certainly a no-good character, but it seems far-fetched that he would try to get at Atticus by hurting his children or that somebody else would just happen to be there in order to save them. The story is realistic up to that point, but then it becomes rather melodramatic and sentimental.

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