The primary antagonist of the novel is Bob Ewell, who is described as the most despicable man in Maycomb. Bob Ewell has no redeeming qualities and is portrayed as a completely malevolent individual who regularly hunts out of season, uses his welfare check to buy alcohol, and attempts to threaten innocent citizens after the Tom Robinson trial. In addition to being a shameless alcoholic, Bob Ewell physically abuses his daughter after he witnesses her kissing Tom Robinson. After beating Mayella, he forces her to corroborate his story and lies on the witness stand. Despite winning the case, Atticus exposes the truth and Bob Ewell believes that he is responsible for ruining his reputation.
Shortly after the trial, Bob Ewell is fired from his WPA job for laziness and blames Atticus. Bob Ewell proceeds to spit in Atticus's face outside of the post office and challenges him to a fight. Bob also trespasses on Judge Taylor's property and intimidates Helen Robinson on her way to work.
Bob Ewell’s most vicious, unforgiving act takes place in chapter 28, when he attacks Jem and Scout on their walk home from the Maycomb Halloween festival. Bob Ewell attempts to kill the children, but Boo Radley comes to their defense. Boo ends up saving the children by stabbing and killing Bob Ewell during the struggle. Bob Ewell manages to break Jem's arm during the attack, but both children survive. Overall, Bob Ewell is the primary antagonist of the story and attempts to get revenge on Atticus by attacking his children.