Brief Character Summary – To Kill a Mockingbird May 9, 2009Posted by KJ theBookGirl in Analysis, Essay, Harper Lee, Scout, To Kill a Mockingbird, Uncategorized.
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The following is a very short summary of the different characters (very useful for last minute revision notes):
Jean Louise “Scout” Finch- young girl and narrator of story. She learns many lessons throughout the novel, and grows up from a naive but perceptive child to a moral and strong young lady, acknowledging facts many adults failed to grasp.
Jeremy Atticus Finch – Scout’s older brother and friend. Jem is maturer than Scout and look out for her. He is very much like his Father, and teaches Scout when Atticus is absent. Jem is much quicker than Scout and has a role of authority and knowledge. She looks up to him, although likes to feel his equal.
Atticus Finch – Jem and Scout’s father. Atticus is a lawyer for the people of Maycomb and works very hard for justice and equality. He accepts people the way they are and has a very advanced set of morals for a resident in Maycomb at this time. Atticus is one of the few characters who is not racist, as shown by his defending Robinson.
Calpurnia – Maid and cook in the Finch household, Cal is really a surrogate mother to Jem and Scout, and holds joint authority with Atticus in that respect. She is loyal, kind and strong, having a great amount of respect for Atticus and affection for the children she keeps the family together through tough times.
Charles Baker “Dill” Harris – A companion of Jem and Scout, he becomes a very firm friend at the beginning of the novel. Dill has a huge imagination and the children spend much of their time playing games together. He also matures with Jem and excludes Scout when she sees the “right” thing to do instead of what they want to do. Dill is Scout’s fiancee at this young age.
Miss Maudie – Atticus’ friendly neighbour is another moral character who does as she likes and sees as right. She is very fond of the children and looks after them, and spoils them a little. Scout can always rely on her for help, advice and something to do.
Mrs Dubose – This is another neighbour of the Finch’s’ but she is constantly nasty to the children, and shouts at them from her porch. She is recovering from a heroine addiction, and this makes her nasty.
Aunt Alexandra – Aunt of Scout and Jem, sister of Atticus. Aunt Al believes in society, class and therefore is prejudiced and stereotypes.She interferes a lot in the upbringing of Jem and Scout, when she decides they aren’t being brought up well enough.
Tom Robinson – a chivalrous, honest black man who lives in the black community in Maycomb. He is accused of raping Mayella Ewell by Bob Ewell, despite evidence against this. Robinson is a mockingbird in the novel, and a victim of racism, discrimination and prejudice.
Bob Ewell – a white man in Maycomb, who spends all his money on drink, is a single father with many children, and who treats everyone badly.
Mayella Ewell – the white eldest daughter of Bob Ewell. She is lonely and desperate, unhappy with her life as a poor and disregarded woman, and in this loneliness turns to Tom Robinson, whom she tries to have a relationship with. Needless to say, Robinson does not tolerate this and refuses; but when she is faced with this she accuses him of rape, with encouragement of her father.
Arthur “Boo” Radley – a neighbour of Scout’s who lives in a house in which the occupants very rarely come out of, especially not Boo. At the beginning of the novel he is regarded as the local “bogeyman”; someone to be feared with the tales of his insanity and violence. However, as the story develops it becomes clear that he is just lonely, and not allowed to communicate with society which makes him awkward and unused to people. He eventually turns out to be a hero and kind hearted man, who loves the children.
Miss. Caroline – Scout’s school teacher who does not understand the ways of Maycomb and ends up being taught by her pupils. Miss Caroline does not get on well with Scout as they had a bad start.
The Cunninghams – this is a family which is well known in Maycomb, they are self respecting and kind, but very poor.
Mr. Dolphus Raymond – a white man who spends his time with a black girl and their children. He pretends to be drunk constantly by drinking out of a bottle hidden in a paper bag, but it turns out that it is simply Coca Cola, and he just wants to live with the black girl without any hassle from the society.
Lula – a black woman who lives in Maycomb, and doesn’t want Scout and Jem to go to the black church one week because she is so bitter about the racism. She wants segregation but where black people have at least as many rights as whites.
Zeebo – a kind and well loved member of the black community who is both the minister in the black church and the garbage collector for the white community.
Uncle Jack – Scout and Jem’s uncle. He is a doctor and loves the children dearly, although he doesn’t understand children nor how to treat them. he uis usually a very good friend to Scout and Jem.
Francis – Scout and Jem’s cousin. Francis has a narrow mind and cruelly torments Scout. He is filled with the prejudice and discrimination that Atticus has taught his children not to have.
Judge Taylor – a just and fair judge of Maycomb, who must be the judge in the Robinson case. He is assertive and attentive, whilst giving a relaxed and laid back impression which results in getting the truth whilst being in total command of the court.
Miss Stephanie Crawford – a busybody neighbour who makes it her business to know everything and pass it on. She is the town’s gossip.
Mr. Gilmer – Bob Ewell’s lawyer. He is clever and twists words, and plays off the fear Mayella has of Atticus to his advantage.
Sheriff Heck Tate – the sheriff of Maycomb. He is a good friend of Atticus and has command of the town. He is generally a good guy.