To Kill A Mocking Bird

GCSE Notes for TKAMB

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Characters

Jean Louise "Scout" Finch

  • Narrator/protagonist
  • Lives with her father (Atticus) and brother Jem, and their black cook (Calpurnia) in Maycomb
  • Intelligent and a tomboy
  • Combative Streak and basic faith in the goodness of the people in her community
  •  Her faith is tested by the hatred and prejudice during Tom Robinsons trial
  • Developes a grown up perspective - appreciates human goodness without ignoring the evil

Atticus Finch

  • Scout and Jems father
  • A lawyer in Maycomb descended from an old local family
  • Widower with a dry sense of humor
  • Instilled in his children a strong sense of morality and justice
  • Commited to racial equality
  • Functions as the novel's moral backbone

 

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Jeremy Atticus "Jem" Finch

  • Scout's brother and playmate at the beginning of the story
  • Typical american boy - refuses to back down from dares and fantasizing about football
  • Four years older than Scout
  • Seperates himself from Scout but remains her close companion and protector
  • Ideals are shaken badly by the evil and injustice he percieves in Tom Robinsons trial

Arthur "Boo" Radley

  • A recluse, never sets foot outside his house
  • Dominates the imaginations of Jem, Scout  and Dill
  • Powerful symbol of goodness swathed in an initial shrowd of creepyness
  • An intelligent child emotionally damaged by his father
  • Example of the threat that evil poses to innocence and goodness
  • One of the novels "Mockingbirds" - a good person injured by the evil of mankind

Bob Ewell

  • Drunken and unemployed member of Maycomb's poorest family
  • Represents the dark side of the south: ignorance, poverty, squalor, and hate-filled racial prejudice
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Charles Baker "Dill" Harris

  • Jem and Scout's summer neighbor and friend
  • Diminutive, confident boy with an active imagination
  • Represents childhood innocence

Miss Maudie Atkinson

  • The Finches' neighbor, sharp-toungued widow, and old family friend
  • Almost the same age as Atticus's younger brother, Jack
  • Shares Atticus's passion for justice
  • The children's best friend amoung the adult

Calpurnia

  • Finches' balck cook
  • Stern disciplinarian
  • Childrens bridge between the white world and her own black community
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Aunt Alexandra

  • Atticus's sister
  • Strong willed woman with a fierce devotion to her family
  • The perfect southern lady
  • Her commitment to propriety and tradition often leads her to clash with Scout

Mayella Ewell

  • Bob Ewell's abused, lonely, unhappy daughter
  • Can be pitied for her overbearing father but cannot be pardoned for her shameful indictment of Tom Robinson

Tom Robinson

  • Black field hand accused of ****
  • One of the novels 'Mockingbirds' - a symbold of innocence destroyed by evil
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Link Deas

  • Tom Robinson's employer
  • Willing to look past race and praise the integrity of Tom's character]
  • Epitomizes the opposite of prejudice

 Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose

  • An elderly, ill tempered, racist woman who lives near the Finches
  • Jem believes she is a thoroughly bad woman
  • Atticus admires the courage wtih which she battles her morphine addiction

Nathan Radley

  • Boo Radley's older brother
  • Scout thinks that Nathan is similar to the deceased Mr. Radley, Boo and Nathan's father
  • Plugs up the knothole where Boo leaves presents for the children, and cruelly cuts off and important part of Boo's relationship with Jem and Scout
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Heck Tate

  • The sheriff of Maycomb and major witness at Tom Robinson's trial
  • Decent man who tries to protect the innocent from danger

Mr. Underwood

  • Publisher of Maycombs newspaper
  • Respects Atticus and proves his ally

Mr. Dolphus Raymond

  • A wealthy white man who lives with his black mistress and mulatto children
  • Pretends to be drunk so that the citizens of maycomb will have an explanation for his behaviour
  • He is jaded by the hypocrisy of white society and prefers living amoung blacks

Mr. Walter Cunningham

  • Poor farmer and part of the Lynch mob
  • Displays human goodness when Scout's politeness compels him to disperse the men at the jail
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