To Kill a Mockingbird

Bob Ewell: A Journey into the World of an Alcoholic 10th Grade

To Kill a Mockingbird is many things: just to name a few, it is a comment on racism, class, and the mob mentality. In this brilliant novel, there are a lot of well defined characters whose goings on in the fictional Maycomb County help to propel the story along. One of the most interesting characters, in my opinion, is Bob Ewell. At first, he appeared to me as the stereotypical antagonist. He is racist, rude, abusive, and an alcoholic. Even his description of being dirty and cruel fits perfectly with the antagonist idea. The antagonists in some stories seem to be slapped together, feel that they are evil just for the sake of being evil, and Bob Ewell seemed to be no exception. However, after the reader who looks into his traits with the help of modern psychology will realize that there may be more to him than is originally evident. When you look at his actions and character in general, you begin to realize that almost all of Bob Ewell’s traits could be symptoms of alcoholism. What if to Kill a Mockingbird’s greatest villain is a comment on alcoholism? What if the downfall of Bob Ewell is but an example of the downfall of the many people living with alcoholism?

It is well established throughout the story that Bob Ewell is an...

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