To Kill A Mockingbird Wiki

Robert E. Lee "Bob" Ewell is a character from To Kill A Mockingbird. He is arguably the story's main antagonist, as he serves for a symbol of both prejudice and racism.

In the story[]

Bob Ewell is initially friends with Atticus Finch, but Ewell loses his friend when Finch chooses to defend a black man accused of abusing Ewell's daughter. When Ewell attends the trial and testifies, his "side" wins the case, despite strong evidence that Robinson never committed such a crime.

He is still humiliated at the trial, though, and goes on a horrific crime spree, trying to break into Judge Taylor's house. He also spits in Atticus' face and menaces Tom's widow. Later, Ewell even attempts to murder Finch's children, Jem and Scout, while they are walking home on Halloween night by a large oak tree. His murder attempt failed, when Arthur "Boo" Radley took a kitchen knife and killed Bob Ewell to prevent him from harming the Finch children. Ewell was stopped, but not before he broke Jem's arm and tried to kill Scout (however she was saved by her ham costume from the play.) Heck Tate, knowing Boo Radley killed Bob Ewell, covered this up by saying that Bob fell on his own knife, and therefore killed himself. Atticus briefly tries to stop Tate before choosing not to.

He is a strong alcoholic and poaches game to feed his family, as a result of his spending whatever money he legally gains on alcohol. Near the end of the book when scout is grabbed by Bob Ewell she mentions that she can smell alcohol. This is a reference to Bob Ewell being an alcoholic.


  • Bob Ewell's name is based off of Robert E. Lee, who was best known for being a confederate general during the American Civil War.