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To Kill A Mockingbird revision guide: Characters

Updated on September 21, 2016

Contents

This will be a rather long repository of all things to do with the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, covering the characters, key quotes, themes associated and any traits they portray.

#Contents will be added with links later#

Characters

  • Atticus Finch
  • Jean Louise "Scout" Finch
  • Jeremy Atticus "Jem" Finch
  • Calpurnia
  • Aunt Alexandra
  • "Uncle" Jack Finch
  • (Mother Finch) - only referred to in the book
  • Frances Hancock
  • Cousin Ike Finch
  • Rose Aylmer
  • Charles Baker “Dill” Harris
  • Arthur “Boo” Radley
  • “Old” Mr Radley
  • “Old” Mrs. Radley
  • Nathan Radley
  • Miss Maudie Atkinson
  • Tom Robinson
  • Judge Taylor
  • Miss Caroline Fisher
  • Walter Cunningham
  • Heck Tate
  • Ewell’s
  • Bob Ewell
  • Mayella Ewell
  • Burris Ewell
  • Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose
  • Miss Stephanie Crawford
  • Mr. Underwood
  • Mr. Dolphus Raymond
  • Mr. Link Deas
  • Mr. Glimer
  • Mr. Avery
  • Little Chuck Little

General

Atticus, Calpurnia, Tom and Boo are all separated from society, all beacons of morality, and not contaminated by ‘Maycomb’s disease’. This is a key aspect to always remember!

Atticus Finch

Atticus is a moral guide and the antithesis of Bob Ewell.

He is a symbol of justice and moral guide – shooting the diseased dog – shoots at diseased community (heck can’t shoot at the dog as he isn’t ‘good’ enough)

Promotes the moral education of children – climbing into skin

Symbolises bravery – protects Tom even though he and protecting him is looked down upon (pg 84)

Strong family values – always protecting and being there for his children

Jean Louise “Scout” Finch

Jeremy Atticus “Jem” Finch

Calpurnia

She's is a person that links the black and white community

Atticus appreciates her job very much!

Disciplinarian of children

Unifier of the community (mostly through religion

Motherly figure to children – conflict between her and Aunt Alexandra

Aunt Alexandra

High in social class

Traditionalist

Used to give scout ‘education’ in becoming a lady

Changes at the end – puts scout in her overalls and accepts that not everyone should conform to society

Conflict of mother figures in children’s life

“Uncle” Jack Finch

(Mother Finch)

  • Pg 6 – our mother died when I was 2, so I never felt her absence... I did not miss her, but I think Jem did... when he was like that, I knew better than to bother him.

Frances Hancock

  • Pg 86 – he was a year older than I... ingenuous diversions

Cousin Ike Finch

  • Pg 84 – cousin Ike finch was Maycomb county’s sole surviving confederate veteran... his saintly brow

Rose Aylmer

  • Pg 87 – Rose Aylmer was Uncle jack’s cat... we admired them

Charles Baker “Dill” Harris

Innocent, childish, untainted, pure

Juxtaposition – marrying scout even though he is still a child – wanting to grow up faster than he's growing

Active mind – innocence

Alternative family – Scout and Jem

Arthur “Boo” Radley

Judged (prejudice (Tom)) Finches and Radley contrast

Contrast between Boo and Tom:

  • Hollow – empty – starved of life
  • Delicate – fragile person
  • Dead – his life
  • Colourless – no colour in life – eyes reflect life

“Old” Mr Radley

  • Pg 11 – Knowing that Mr. Radley's word was his bond, the judge was glad to do so.
  • Pg 12 – He was a thin leathery man with colourless eyes, so colourless they did not reflect light.... Mr Radley's posture was ramrod straight.

Nathan Radley

  • Pg 13 – Jem said Mr Nathan Radley ‘bought cotton’, too. Mr Nathan would... with a magazine in his hand.

Miss Maudie Atkinson

Represents the childhood of Jem and scout (house burning down → innocence burning down, Jem gets a slice (rather than his own tin) of cake → Jem growing up)

Morally good

Sees Boo as a person

Doesn’t go to the trial

Very strong

Voice of Harper Lee – house burnt down – injustice is everywhere

Tom Robinson

Family – Black community, comparison to Bob who has no one

Racial inequality

Religious – highly moral standards

Courage – still tells the truth in court

Tom ran because either way he was going to be imprisoned - guilty

Mockingbird – contrast to Bob

Judge Taylor

  • Pg 181 – Judge Taylor was on the bench, looking like a sleepy old shark... but Atticus said they didn’t kiss much.

Miss Caroline Fisher

  • Pg 18 – Miss Caroline was no more than twenty-one. She had bright auburn hair, pink cheeks, and wore crimson ... she boarded across the street one door down from us in miss Maudie Atkinson’s upstairs front room...
  • Pg 21 – “did you forget your lunch this morning?” asked Miss Caroline. Walker’s jaw twitched again... “Here’s a quarter,” she said to Walter. “Go and eat down-town today. You can pay me back tomorrow” – this shows the bubble in which Maycomb is in and the time honoured characteristics’ each family has. This example shows the stubborn-ness of nationalising the education system. Miss Caroline could be used as a contrast to Judge Taylor, the court room, and justice; justice and Judge Taylor are fair and equal to all, where as the Dewey Decimal System isn’t, like the social divide in Maycomb
  • Pg 24 – As I was the last to leave, I saw her sink down into her chair and bury her head in her arms.

Walter Cunningham

  • Pg 21 – Walter Cunningham’s face told everybody in the first grade he had hookworms. His absence of shoes told us how he got them... neatly mended overalls.
  • Pg 25 – Walter looked as if he had been raised on fish food: his eyes as blue as Dill Harris’s, were red-rimmed and watery... nervously picking at the metal hooks.

Heck Tate

  • Pg 104 – Mr heck Tate was the sheriff of Maycomb county... he carried a heavy rifle
  • Pg 183 – Mr. Tate had dressed for the occasion... to the circuit solicitor.
  • Pg 304 – I may not be much, Mr. Finch, but... good night sir.

Ewell’s

  • Pg 33 – The Ewell’s had been the disgrace of Maycomb for three generations. None of them had done an honest day’s work in his recollection.
  • Pg 187 – every town the size of Maycomb had families... to filthy surroundings.
  • Pg 201 – Slowly but surely I began to see the pattern of Atticus’s questions... there was no need for the rest of them to learn – papa needed them at home.

Bob Ewell

Bottom of the social class, but as he’s white, has superiority over blacks

Tom is contrasted with Bob

Mayella Ewell

Society is to blame, if society didn’t look down upon blacks, she wouldn’t have to and she wouldn’t be bad

Burris Ewell

  • Pg 29 – he was the filthiest human I had ever seen. His neck was dark grey, the backs... no one had noticed him.

Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose

Foreshadowing the trial – bravery example

Atticus uses her as a courage tool

“Dirty” moral views

Destroying the camellias – giving back camellias – showing reconciliation

We're not meant to like her – we’re prejudice against her

Miss Stephanie Crawford

  • Pg 81 – That Stephanie’s been after my recipe for thirty years... another thing coming

Mr. Underwood

  • Pg 162 – Mr. Underwood has no use for any organisation but the Maycomb tribune... something must be up to haul Mr. Underwood out.
  • Pg 172 – Local opinion held Mr. Underwood to be an intense profane little man... made slow drinkers
  • Pg 265 – Mr. B. B. Underwood was at his most bitter, and he couldn’t have cared less who cancelled advertising and subscriptions... the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed.

Mr. Dolphus Raymond

  • Pg 177 – Mr. Dolphus Raymond seemed to be so doing... paper bag.
  • Pg 221 – Mr. Raymond sat up against the tree-trunk. He had been laying on the grass... just plain coca-cola?
  • Pg 221 – I liked his smell... he wore the only English riding boots I had ever seen
  • Pg 222 – cry about the simple hell people give other people – without even thinking.... to that that they’re people too

Mr. Link Deas

  • Pg 215 – I just want the whole lot of you to know one thing right now. That boy’s worked for me eight years an’ I ain’t had a speck o’ trouble outa him. Not a speck

Mr. Glimer

  • Pg 183 – the solicitor, a Mr. Glimer, was not well known to us... so did the witnesses, thinking likewise.

Mr. Avery

  • Pg 57 – Mr Avery boarded across the street from Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose’s house... as I was untalented in this area.

Little Chuck Little

  • Pg 28 – Little Chuck Little was another member of the population who didn’t know where his next meal was coming from, but he was a born gentleman. He put his hand under her elbow and led Miss Caroline to the front of the room.

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