To Kill a Mockingbird
Bob Ewell
Themes and Setting
The Trial

Robert E. Lee Ewell

Bob is an alcoholic of a very poor family. He accused Tom Robinson of raping his daughter. He claimed that he heard her scream, and he saw Tom raping her.


Bob lives with nine motherless children by the city dump.


The trial leads us to think that he caught his daughter kissing Tom and so he beat her.


He'd rather spend his money on alcohol than his children.


After the trial, he gets a job at the WPA, but then looses it because of laziness. He thought that after the trial he would be a hero, but in reality the town was more along the lines of "'okay, we'll convict this Negro,'" and then the town "told" him to go back to his dump. He gained nothing.


When Link Deas gives Helen a job (he didn't really need any work done, but he was a nice man), Helen avoids taking the short way because she is afraid of going past Bob Ewell's house. When she does take the short / public road by his house, he follows her and screams dirty words to her back. She tells Link Deas and he screams at Bob that if he ever harasses her again he'll charge her for the Ladies Law and for harassment.


Bob Ewell tries to break into Judge Taylor's house on a Sunday, but Judge Taylor heard him scratching on the porch screen with his knife and so he had to run away. Judge Taylor did not see the face of this stranger, but we can assume it's Bob.


After the Halloween party, Scout and Jem leave and Jem hears something or someone following them. Jem and Scout think it's Cecil again, and they begin shouting that Cecil is a "big fat hen". Cecil doesn't answer, and so they begin to worry. Jem says that he can see Scout even though there is no light (it is night and there is no moon out) because of the costume she is wearing. They hear that the footsteps do not sound like a child's, but a grown man's. Scout is saved by her costume, but Jem's arm is broken and he is left unconscious. Boo Radley saved Jem by running out and stabbing Bob Ewell with a knife. The sheriff declares that Bob fell on his own knife and died that way, when in reality we know that Boo stabbed him.