In the book Bob Ewell is very much seen as the antagonist of the story. Harper Lee illustrates Bob Ewell to be the most disliked character and is whom much of the novel revolves around.
Scout Finch describes Bob Ewell in the courtroom (page 170) – “… a little bantam cock of a man rose and strutted to the stand, the back of his neck reddening at the sound of his name. When he turned to take the oath, we saw his face was as red as his neck. We saw no resemblance to his namesake. A shock of wispy new-washed hair stood up from his forehead; his nose was thin, pointed and shiny; he had no chin to speak of - it seemed part of his crepey neck.” He is portrayed as a very poor man who sexually abuses his daughter and is an old styled racist. He has a large un-educated family who struggles to eat a consistent meal every night and when he does accumulate enough money he often spends it on alcohol for himself.
Role in the book:
Bob Ewell is possibly one of the most important characters in the book, as he helps Harper Lee to present her message about how terrible and common racism is and was. In the novel, he is attempting to wrongly convict Tom Robinson of raping his daughter, Mayella Ewell, as he cannot process the fact that his daughter would kiss a Negro. He was slightly worried about his reputation, but knows that people will obviously believe him over a black man. There is no doubt that Bob Ewell is supposed to be the most disliked character in the book and essentially, he is the reason the children (Scout, Jem and even Dill) loose their innocence to what Atticus has taught them since they were born. He is also seen as a cowardly man after attacking the children: in the dark, isolated and with a knife.
Cowardly – shown after attacking the children.
Revengeful – shown after spitting on Atticus and vowing to ‘get him’. Sensitive – shown after Atticus makes a fool of him in the courtroom. Racist –...