List of To Kill a Mockingbird characters
To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was instantly successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize, and has become a classic of modern American literature, widely read in U.S. high schools. The story takes place during three years of the Great Depression in the fictional "tired old town" of Maycomb, Alabama. This is a list of characters from the novel.
- 1 Primary characters
- 2 Minor characters
- 2.1 John Hale "Uncle Jack" Finch
- 2.2 Francis Hancock
- 2.3 Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose
- 2.4 Judge John Taylor
- 2.5 Mr. Heck Tate
- 2.6 Mr. Braxton Bragg (B.B.) Underwood
- 2.7 Mr. Horace Gilmer
- 2.8 Dr. Reynolds
- 2.9 Dolphus Raymond
- 2.10 Link Deas
- 2.11 Miss Caroline Fisher
- 2.12 Reverend Sykes
- 2.13 Zeebo
- 2.14 Miss Stephanie Crawford
- 2.15 Miss Rachel Haverford
- 2.16 Helen Robinson
- 2.17 Nathan Radley
- 2.18 Jessie
- 2.19 Burris Ewell
- 2.20 Lula
- 2.21 Mrs. Grace Merriweather
- 2.22 Walter Cunningham, Jr.
- 2.23 Walter Cunningham, Sr.
- 2.24 Little Chuck Little
- 2.25 Mr. Dick Avery
- 2.26 Miss Gates
- 2.27 Eula May
- 2.28 Cecil Jacobs
- 2.29 Tim Johnson
- 2.30 Simon Finch
- 2.31 Maxwell Green
- 2.32 Mr. X Billups
- 2.33 The Barber Sisters (Miss "Tutti" and Miss "Frutti")
- 2.34 Mrs. Gertrude Farrow
- 3 References
Atticus Finch is a well-known white Maycomb attorney as well as the father of the book's protagonist, Scout, and her brother Jem. He is a wise and caring father. Atticus is nearly fifty. His children call him "Atticus" rather than "Dad". He was once known as "One-Shot Finch" because of his skill with rifles (shown when he kills a rabid dog with a single shot). Atticus demonstrates great character throughout the book and strives to set a good example for his children, teaching Jem and Scout to treat everyone equally. Atticus' beliefs and strong moral compass lead him to defend Tom Robinson, a black man, from baseless charges of rape. This is an unpopular decision among many Maycomb residents. However, Atticus feels that his refusing to take up the case would make him undeserving of others' and his own respect. He is a very strong and resilient static character. He is played by Gregory Peck in the movie.
Jean Louise "Scout" Finch
Jean Louise "Scout" Finch is the narrator and protagonist of To Kill a Mockingbird. The novel is written from the point of view of an adult Scout describing how she viewed the events of the novel as a child, and she often comments about how she didn't understand something at the time, but now, having grown up, she does. Scout is considered smart for her age and loves to read. In fact, she gets in trouble with her teacher Miss Caroline because Miss Caroline wants Scout to learn reading and writing her way, but Scout refuses. She is also a tomboy who spends the majority of her time with her brother Jem and best friend Dill. She matures from age 6 to age 8 as the novel progresses but remains naive and idealistic, despite an increased understanding of human nature and racism in her town. At the beginning of the book, Scout is confused by some of the words and names she hears people directing towards her father, such as "nigger lover". Being only six, Scout does not know how to handle such situations so she tries to resolve her problems by fighting and talking to Atticus about what she has heard. By the end of the book, she realizes that racism does exist and has come to terms with its presence in her town. Scout also learns how to deal with others, including the Finch family housekeeper, Calpurnia, and her aunt, Alexandra. Scout is the only one of the novel's primary three children (Dill, Jem, and herself) to see and speak to Boo Radley during the course of the novel and realize that he is harmless, despite her earlier fear of him. She also stops a mob that is trying to lynch Tom Robinson by talking to the mob leader (Mr. Cunningham) about inviting his son over for dinner. Mr. Cunningham then tells the other mob members to get back in their cars and leave them alone. The members listen, and Scout unintentionally saves Tom Robinson's life. She is portrayed by Mary Badham in the movie. She is a tom-boy and is trying to understand what she can in life.
Jeremy "Jem" Finch
Jeremy "Jem" Finch is Atticus' son and Scout's older brother by four years. Jem matures greatly through the course of the novel, and is much more affected by the events than his sister is, due to having a greater understanding of it (his mother's death before the novel begins). Bob Ewell tries to kill both him and Scout at the end of the book, and breaks Jem's arm, which therefore leaves one of his arms shorter to the other. Jem initially is against the gifts that Boo Radley leaves in the tree knothole, but soon accepts them. He is portrayed by Phillip Alford in the film.
Charles Baker "Dill" Harris
Charles Baker "Dill" Harris is Jem and Scout's best friend who visits Maycomb every summer from Meridian, Mississippi, and stays with his aunt Rachel. His goal throughout the novel is to get Boo Radley to come out of his house, and for the first few summers the children concoct many plans to lure him out, until Atticus stops them. Dill promises to marry Scout, and they become "engaged". One night Dill runs away from his home in the city, because he feels like he is being replaced in the family by his stepfather. He gets on a train and goes to Maycomb County, then hides under Scout's bed until she finds him. He tells them that he was chained to a wall in his father's basement to start with, but tells them his reality later.
Unlike Scout and Jem, Dill lacks the security of family love. He is unwanted and unloved by his mother and stepfather: "They do get on a lot better without me, I cannot help them any." As Francis, another Finch from the novel, says, "He hasn't got a home, he just gets passed around from relative to relative." Dill is described as not having a father; he doesn't know where he lives or when he'll come back, if he does. He is played by John Megna in the movie.
This character is believed to be based on author Truman Capote, a childhood friend of Harper Lee.
Calpurnia is the Finch family's housekeeper, whom the children love and Atticus deeply respects (he remarks in her defense that she "never indulged [the children] like most colored nurses"). She is highly regarded by Atticus. She is an important figure in Scout's life, providing discipline, instruction, and love. She also fills the maternal role for the children after their mother's death. Calpurnia is one of the few black characters in the novel who is able to read and write, and it is she who taught Scout to write. She learned how to read from Miss Maudie's aunt, Miss Buford, who taught her how to read out of "Blackstone's Commentaries", a book given to her.
While everyone in the novel is filtered through Scout’s perception, Calpurnia in particular appears for a long time more as Scout’s idea of her than as a real person. At the beginning of the novel, Scout appears to think of Calpurnia as the wicked stepmother to Scout’s own Cinderella. However, towards the end of the book, Scout views Calpurnia as someone she can look up to and realizes Calpurnia has only protected her over the years. She is played by Estelle Evans in the movie.
Calpurnia is defined as a really kind character, for whom even assisted Jem, and Scout, in various different ways. She is included in several parts of the book.
Arthur "Boo" Radley
Arthur "Boo" Radley is a mysterious character in To Kill a Mockingbird and slowly reveals himself throughout the novel. Boo Radley is a very quiet, reclusive character, who doesn't actively present himself until Jem and Scout's final interaction with Bob Ewell.
Maycomb children believe he is a horrible person, due to the rumors spread about him and a trial he underwent as a teenager. It is implied during the story that Boo is a very lonely man who attempts to reach out to Jem and Scout for love and friendship, for instance leaving them small gifts and figures in a tree knothole. Scout finally meets him at the very end of the book, when he saves the children's lives. Scout describes him as being sickly white, with a thin mouth and hair, and grey eyes, almost as if he were blind. During the same night, when Boo whispers to Scout to walk him back to the Radley house, Scout takes a moment to picture what it would be like to be Boo Radley. While standing on his porch, she realizes his "exile" inside his house is really not that lonely.
Boo Radley's heroics in protecting the children from Bob Ewell are covered up by Atticus, Sheriff Tate, and Scout. This can be read as a wise refusal of fame. As Tate notes, if word got out that Boo killed Ewell, Boo would be inundated with gifts and visits, calamitous for him due to his quiet personality. The precocious Scout recognizes the danger: renown would "kill the mockingbird". Boo Radley is a ghost who haunts the book yet manifests himself at just the right moments in just the right way. He is, arguably, the most potent character in the whole book and as such, inspires the other key characters to save him when he needs saving.
After the Tom Robinson trial, Jem and Scout have a different understanding of Boo Radley. “Scout, I think I'm beginning to understand something. I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time… it's because he wants to stay inside." (23.117) Having seen a sample of the horrible things their fellow townspeople can do, choosing to stay out of the mess of humanity doesn’t seem like such a strange choice.
When Boo finally does come out, he has a good reason: Bob Ewell is trying to murder the Finch kids. No one sees what happens in the scuffle, but at the end of it, Ewell is dead and Boo carries an unconscious Jem to the Finch house. Finally faced with Boo, Scout doesn’t recognize him at first, but suddenly realizes who he is. Boo Radley is played by Robert Duvall in the movie.
Miss Maude "Maudie" Atkinson
Miss Maude "Maudie" Atkinson lives across the street from the Finch family. She had known the Finches for many years, having been brought up on the Buford place, which was near the Finches' ancestral home, Finch's Landing. She is described as a woman of about 40 who enjoys baking and gardening; her cakes are especially held in high regard. However, she is frequently harassed by devout "Foot-Washing Baptists", who tell her that her enjoyment of gardening is a sin. Miss Maudie befriends Scout and Jem and tells them stories about Atticus as a boy. Also, she is one of the few adults that Jem and Scout hold in high regard and respect. She does not act condescendingly towards them, even though they are young children. During the course of the novel, her house burns down; however, she shows remarkable courage throughout this (even joking that she wanted to burn it down herself to make more room for her flowers). She is not prejudiced, though she pours acid on Miss Dubose, unlike many of her Southern neighbors, and teaches Scout important lessons about racism and human nature. It is important to note that Miss Maudie fully explains that "it is a sin to kill a mockingbird", whereas Atticus Finch initially brings up the subject but doesn't go into depth. When Jem gets older, and doesn't want to be bothered by Scout, Miss Maudie keeps her from getting mad. Maudie is played by Rosemary Murphy in the movie.
Robert "Bob" Ewell
Robert E. Lee "Bob" Ewell is the main antagonist of To Kill a Mockingbird. He has a daughter named Mayella, and a younger son named Burris, as well as six other unnamed children. He is an alcoholic, poaching game to feed his family because he spends whatever money they legally gain via government "relief checks" on alcohol. It is implied, and evidence suggests, that he was the one who abused his daughter Mayella Ewell, not Tom Robinson (the African American man accused of doing so). Although most everybody in town knows that the Ewells are a disgrace and not to be trusted, it is made clear that Tom Robinson was convicted because he is a Negro whose accuser is white. Upon hearing of Tom's death, Bob is absolutely gleeful, gloating about his success. After being humiliated at the trial, however, he goes on a quest for revenge, becoming increasingly violent. He begins by spitting in Atticus' face, followed by a failed attempt to break into the home of Judge Taylor, finally menacing Helen, the poor widow of Tom Robinson. Ewell then attempts to murder Jem and Scout Finch with a knife to complete his revenge. Fortunately, Boo Radley saves Jem and Scout and it is believed that he kills Ewell with the knife. Heck Tate, the sheriff, puts in the official report that Bob Ewell fell on his own knife and died after lying under a tree for 45 minutes. Robert E. Lee "Bob" Ewell is played by James K Anderson in the movie.
Mayella Violet Ewell
Mayella Violet Ewell is Tom Robinson's 19-and-a-half-year-old accuser and the eldest daughter of Bob Ewell; she has to take care of her siblings (such as Burris Ewell) due to Bob Ewell's alcoholism. In the book she also saves up nickels for the children, so they can go get ice cream, which is when the crime takes place. Before the trial, Mayella is noted for growing red geraniums outside her otherwise dirty home in order to bring some beauty into her life. Due to her family's living situation, Mayella has no opportunity for human contact or love, and she eventually gets so desperate that she attempts to seduce a black man, Tom Robinson. Her father sees this through a window, and in punishment he beats her. Ewell then finds the sheriff, Heck Tate, and tells him that his daughter has been raped and beaten by Tom. At the trial, Atticus proves that it was her father who beat her by pointing out that the bruises are on the right side of her face only, and thus could only have been done by someone who was left handed. This is important because Tom's left hand is mangled and useless, while Bob Ewell is left handed. When Atticus Finch asks her if she has any friends, she becomes confused because she does not know what a friend is. During her testimony, she is confused by Atticus' polite speech and thinks that his use of "Miss Mayella" is meant to mock her. She testifies against Tom Robinson.
By testifying against Tom Robinson, Mayella is trying to destroy the evidence suggesting that she had attempted to seduce him, and to do what her father wants her to do so that he won't hurt her — to eliminate her own guilt and fear of breaking a 'rigid and time-honored code'. Mayella is played by Collin Wilcox in the movie.
Tom Robinson is an African American man Atticus defends when he is accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell. As Atticus says, Robinson's left arm is "hardly nothing," because it was caught in a cotton gin at age 12; his exclusive right-handedness is the basis of Atticus's defense: since Mayella's bruises were only on the right side of her face, someone who leads with his left must have beaten her. During his testimony, Tom states that he had frequently helped Mayella with small household tasks because he felt sorry for her and her hard life. This shocks the jury, as it was unheard of that a black man could feel sorry for a white woman. Despite Atticus's skillful defense, Robinson is declared guilty by the jury since he is a Negro whose accuser is white. Although Atticus feels confident that he will be acquitted on appeal, while in prison Robinson is shot 17 times and killed by guards who later report that he had "attempted to escape." He was played in the movie by Brock Peters.
Alexandra "Aunt Alexandra" Hancock
Alexandra "Aunt Alexandra" Hancock (née Finch) is Atticus' and Jack's sister, married to James "Uncle Jimmy" Hancock. She has a son named Henry and a very spoiled grandson named Francis. Around the middle of the book, Aunt Alexandra decides to leave her husband at Finch's Landing, the Finch family homestead to come stay with the Finches. Aunt Alexandra doesn't consider the black Calpurnia to be a very good motherly figure to Jem and Scout; she disapproves of Scout being a tomboy and wants to make Scout into a southern belle (encouraging her to act more 'lady like'). This is the cause of many conflicts between Scout and Alexandra throughout the course of the novel. However, as the trial progresses, Scout comes to see how much her aunt cares for her father and what a strong woman she is. This is especially evidenced by a tea party when Scout is horrified by the racism displayed, and her aunt and Miss Maudie help her deal with her feelings. By the end of the book, it's clear that Alexandra cares very much for her niece and nephew, though she and Scout will probably never really get along. The character of Alexandra was based on a fictionalized version of Delphine LaLaurie.
John Hale "Uncle Jack" Finch
John Hale "Uncle Jack" Finch is Atticus' and Alexandra's younger brother. (He is about 40, which is 10 years younger than Atticus.) Jack smells like alcohol and something sweet, and is said that he and Alexandra have similar features. Jack is a childless doctor who can always make Scout and Jem laugh, and they adore him. He and Miss Maudie are close to the same age; he frequently teases her with marriage proposals, which she always declines.
Francis Hancock is the spoiled grandson of Aunt Alexandra. (The son of her son, Henry Hancock.) Every Christmas, Henry and his wife drop Francis at Finch's Landing, which is the only time Scout and Jem see him. Francis lives in Mobile, Alabama, and is a bit of a tattle-tale. He gets along well with Jem, but often spars with Scout. One Christmas, Francis calls Atticus a "nigger-lover," as well as insisting that he was ruining the family and the likes, which infuriates Scout and causes them to get into a fight. Francis lies about his role in it, telling Uncle Jack that Scout started it by calling him a "whore lady", and Jack therefore punishes Scout. However, she explains the full story and charitably persuades her uncle not to punish Francis about it, but to let Atticus think they had been fighting about something else (although Atticus later discovers the truth).
Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose
Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose is an elderly woman who lives near the Finches. She is hated by the children, who run by her house to avoid her. Scout describes Mrs. Dubose as 'plain hell.' A virulent racist, she calls Atticus a "nigger-lover" to his children, and the upset Jem ravages Mrs. Dubose's camellias. As a punishment, Jem is required to read to Mrs. Dubose each day for a month. Mrs. Dubose has a fit each time he reads - drooling, twitching, and more. When an alarm rings, Jem is allowed to leave. After a month and a week of reading, Jem is finally allowed to stop. Mrs. Dubose dies shortly thereafter. Atticus informs Jem that Mrs. Dubose was terminally ill and had become addicted to morphine. By reading to her, Jem had distracted her so that she could conquer her addiction and die free from painkillers. In thanks, she leaves him a candy box with a camellia flower in it. Jem disposes of the box in anger, but is later seen by Scout admiring the flower. Atticus tells Jem that Mrs. Dubose was the bravest person he ever knew, and he was trying to teach Jem the importance of bravery and true courage to endure anything when the situation is hopeless, as in her morphine addiction.
Judge John Taylor
Judge John Taylor is a white-haired old man with a reputation for running his court in an informal fashion and an enjoyment of singing and dipping tobacco. He is unimportant to the children until he presides over the Tom Robinson trial, in which he shows great distaste for the Ewells and great respect for Atticus. Because of the judge's sympathies for Tom, Bob Ewell breaks into the judge's house while the judge's wife is at church. After the trial, Miss Maudie points out to the children that the judge had tried to help Tom by appointing Atticus to the case instead of Maxwell Green, the new, untried lawyer who usually received court-appointed cases. Judge Taylor knew that Atticus was the only man who would stand a chance at acquitting Tom, or at least would be able to keep the jury thinking for more than a few minutes. By doing this, Judge Taylor was not giving in or supporting racism.
Mr. Heck Tate
Mr. Heck Tate is a friend of Atticus and also the sheriff of Maycomb County. At the end of the novel he is the one who comes up with the story to protect Arthur "Boo" Radley from being subjected to unwanted attention after killing Bob Ewell to save Jem and Scout. He also indirectly forces Atticus to reveal his expertise with firearms (which Atticus had previously tried to conceal from his children) by asking him to shoot a rabid dog. Heck is a decent man who tries to protect the innocent from danger. Like Atticus, he seems to be one of the few in Maycomb County who is not prejudiced against the African-Americans. He is described as tall as Atticus but thinner, always wearing boots and boot-cut pants with a belt of bullets. He is a static character, holding onto his basic principles throughout the events of the story.
Mr. Braxton Bragg (B.B.) Underwood
Mr. Braxton Bragg (B.B.) Underwood is a news reporter and a friend of Atticus. He owns and also publishes The Maycomb Tribune. Being a racist, he disagrees with Atticus on principle. He also has a strong belief in justice, as exemplified when he defends Atticus from the Cunningham mob by having his double barrel shotgun loaded and ready to shoot them. He also demonstrates some humanity when he publishes a scathing editorial comparing the killing of Tom Robinson (a cripple) to "the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children".
Mr. Horace Gilmer
Mr. Horace Gilmer is a lawyer from Abbottsville, and is the prosecuting attorney in the Tom Robinson case. Mr. Gilmer is between the ages of forty and sixty. Mr. Gilmer has a slight cast with one eye, which he uses to his advantage in trial. Mr. Gilmer appeared to be racist in his harsh cross-examination of Tom Robinson, but it is hinted at that he is in fact going easy on Tom.
Dr. Reynolds is the Maycomb doctor. He is well known to Scout and Jem. Scout says that he "had brought Jem and me into the world, had led us through every childhood disease known to man including the time Jem fell out of the tree house, and he had never lost our friendship. Dr. Reynolds said that if we were boil-prone things would have been different..." (ch. 28). He inspects Jem's broken arm and Scout's minor bruises after the attack from Bob Ewell under the tree.
Dolphus Raymond is a white landowner who is jaded by the hypocrisy of the white society and prefers to live among black folks. In fact, he has children with a black woman. Dolphus pretends he is an alcoholic so that the people of Maycomb will have an excuse for his behavior, but in fact he only drinks Coca Cola out of a paper bag to try to hide it. When Dill and Scout discover that he is not a drunk, they are amazed. He shows Scout how sometimes you can pretend to be someone you're not so people will be more understanding of you.
Link Deas owns cotton fields and a store in Maycomb who employs Tom and later Helen because she does not get accepted by any other employers in the county due to Tom Robinson's legal troubles. He announces to the court (in defense of Tom) at one point in the trial that he hadn't “had a speck o’trouble outta him” even though Tom had been working for him for eight years, and gets sent out by Judge John Taylor for doing so. When Bob Ewell starts threatening Helen after the trial, Mr. Deas fiercely defends her and threatens several times to have Mr. Ewell arrested if he keeps bothering her. He is on Tom Robinson's side during the trial and remains loyal to the family afterwards.
Miss Caroline Fisher
Miss Caroline Fisher is Scout's first grade teacher and is new to Maycomb, Alabama and its ways. She attempts to teach the first grade class using a new system which she learned from taking certain college courses (Jem mistakenly refers to it as the "Dewey Decimal System", which is really how library books are organized.). She is upset by Scout's advanced reading capabilities and believes that Scout is receiving lessons from Atticus. She feels as though Scout is trying to outsmart and mock her. In an effort to standardize the class, she forbids Scout from reading with her father. Atticus asks Scout to step into Miss Caroline's skin. However, he continues to allow Scout to read with him at night so long as she continues to go to school. Miss Caroline has good intentions but proves quite incompetent as a teacher. When Scout tells Miss Fisher that she shamed a student (Walter Cunningham, Jr.) by giving him lunch money, she raps Scout's palms with a ruler (a punishment unheard of in Maycomb). She is also very sensitive and gets emotionally hurt quite easily, as seen when she cries after Burris Ewell yells at her, "Report and be damned to ye! Ain't no snot-nosed slut of a schoolteacher ever born c'n make me do nothin'! You ain't makin' me go nowhere, missus. You just remember that, you ain't makin' me go nowhere!" After the Burris Ewell incident, Miss Caroline is seldom seen and soon forgotten.
Reverend Sykes is the reverend of the First Purchase M.E. African Church in Maycomb County. This is the church Tom Robinson attended. Reverend Sykes forces the congregation to donate 10 dollars for Tom Robinson's family since at the time, Tom's wife, Helen, was having trouble finding work. During the trial, when the courtroom was too packed for the children to find seats, Reverend Sykes lets the kids sit with him up in the colored balcony and even saves their seats for them. This is an example of how the black community respects the Finches.
Zeebo is Calpurnia's eldest son. He is one of just four people in First Purchase Church who can read, so he is the vocal leader, leading hymns in the Negro First Purchase Church by "lining," reading a line of verse and having the congregation repeat it. Calpurnia teaches Zeebo to read through the use of the Bible. He is also the garbage man of Maycomb, taking away dead Tim Johnson, the rabid dog. When a fellow church member, a woman named Lula, tries to make the children feel bad for attending church with his mother, Zeebo welcomes Scout and Jem with open arms. He is kind but very quiet.
Miss Stephanie Crawford
Miss Stephanie Crawford is the neighborhood gossip who claimed that she once saw Boo Radley from her bedroom standing outside of her cleaned window one night. Crawford is one of the first on the scene after a loud gunshot is heard behind the Radley house. Because she is the neighborhood gossip, it is unwise to think of anything that she says as true, because most of the time it is not true at all. She is a friend of Alexandra Hancock. She lets Miss Maudie live with her when Miss Maudie's house burns down, supposedly in order to steal Miss Maudie's Lane cake recipe. She is thrilled to pass on gossip to the kids about Boo Radley. She claimed to have witnessed Bob Ewell's threatening Atticus at the Post Office corner as she was returning from the local Jitney Jungle grocery store.
Miss Rachel Haverford
Miss Rachel Haverford is Dill's aunt and the Finches' next door neighbor. She drank neat whiskey heavily after seeing a rattlesnake coiled in her closet, on her washing, when she hung her negligee up. Her trademark line is "Doo Jesus!" and even though she can be very hard to deal with, she truly does love her nephew. Her family name, in the legends of Maycomb County, is synonymous with jackass. Two of her relations murdered the community's blacksmith over one of their mares being wrongfully detained, were imprudent enough to have done so in the presence of witnesses, and then insisted that the blacksmith had it coming to him. They tried to urge the court to plead not guilty to first degree murder, but the court refused, and they were then hanged. This trial was Atticus' first case as a lawyer.
In the film, she's not a character and Miss Stephanie takes her place as Dill's aunt.
Helen Robinson is the wife of Tom Robinson. She is spoken about many times. She has 3 children. Employed by Link Deas following the death of her husband, she is repeatedly harassed by Bob Ewell when traveling to work. Upon learning of this, Deas threatens Ewell, forcing him to stop. She is an example of how one person's actions can have an effect on a lot of people and she elucidates the hardships that surround the Tom Robinson case.
Nathan Radley is the older brother of Arthur "Boo" Radley and another difficult character to understand in To Kill a Mockingbird. When the children try to catch a view of "Boo" late one night through a window, he shoots over their heads with a shotgun (albeit thinking he was aiming at a black person). Nathan also cements up the knothole in which Arthur leaves little gifts for the children. On the other hand, he helps Miss Maudie by saving some of her belongings when her house is on fire. He is more present than his brother, but equally mysterious.
Jessie is Mrs. Dubose's black nurse. She is the woman who shoos the children out when Mrs. Dubose has her fits, and she seems to care enormously for Mrs. Dubose. When Jem is forced to stay reading to Mrs. Dubose, Jessie kindly leads Jem and Scout to the door when Mrs. Dubose's alarm goes off. The rumors about Mrs. Dubose concealing a gun about her person involves Jessie; the book says "and even if Mrs. Dubose missed, her girl Jessie wouldn't".
Burris Ewell is a son of Bob Ewell and a younger sibling of Mayella Ewell as well as the first antagonist of the novel. Burris is described as being chiefly antagonistic of Little Chuck Little and his teacher Miss Caroline Fisher. He comes to the first day of school, but departs just as everyone else in his family does. He has live lice in his hair. Burris also scared his teacher Caroline Fisher and behaves rudely when she tells him to go home, wash his hair, and come back clean the next day, but he refuses, explaining to her that Ewell children don't attend school. All they do is show up for the first day, get marked down on the register, and then they miss the entire school year until the first day of the next year. She later finds out and is explained to more carefully by the children in the class as she weeps because of Burris's rude behavior. His famous quote was, "Report and be damned to ye! Ain't no snot-nosed slut of a schoolteacher ever born c'n make me do nothin'! You ain't makin' me go nowhere, missus. You just remember that, you ain't makin' me go nowhere!" As of Scout's first year of school (the first grade), Burris has repeated the first grade three times.
Lula is an African-American lady with a dislike for white people. She doesn't like the idea of Calpurnia bringing Scout and Jem with her to church and tells her so but is overruled by the other congregants. According to James Zeebo, Calpurnia's son, Lula's said to be, "a troublemaker from way back, with fancy ideas and haughty ways." She's threatened with being "churched" by Reverend Sykes.
Mrs. Grace Merriweather
Mrs. Grace Merriweather is the producer of the pageant in which Scout plays a ham. She sips gin from Lydia E. Pinkham bottles, which is not so unusual, because her mother did the same thing. The Merriweather family was claimed to be very morbid. She says the "sinners" in the North are hypocrites for setting the Negroes free, but not inviting them to eat with them. She complains about her cooks and field hands moping after Tom Robinson's wrongful conviction. She adores J. Grimes Everett and constantly talks about the "poor Mrunas" in Africa and their "lack of family morality." She tells Everett that "the ladies of the Maycomb Alabama Methodist Episcopal Church South are behind him one hundred percent." She is mostly known for her devotion to the church and is widely held as the most devout lady in Maycomb; however, like many of her peers, she is very hypocritical and loves to gossip with all the other women.
Walter Cunningham, Jr.
Walter Cunningham, Jr. is a child who is almost as old as Jem but is in Scout's class. He is too poor to even pay off a 25-cent debt because the Great Depression hit his poor family hard. Walter is not only too poor but also his family is too proud to take any money. He is invited over to the Finches' house once, after engaging in a fight with Scout, where he covers up all of his dinner with molasses, much to Scout's vocal dismay. This teaches Scout a lesson in humility and compassion.
Walter Cunningham, Sr.
Walter Cunningham, Sr. is Walter Cunningham Jr.'s father. He appears only twice, once at the beginning of the story when he has to pay off the debt to Atticus (Walter Cunningham Sr. was his client) by giving him firewood, vegetables and other supplies. He also leads the mob that comes to lynch Tom Robinson the night before the trial. Only when Scout talks to him about his son does he reconsider and call off the mob. Scout innocently shames him because Scout reminds him of all the things that Atticus has done for him and for Maycomb County. After the verdict is given in the trial, Atticus tells Jem that a Cunningham had changed his thoughts about Tom and pleaded that Tom was not guilty to the jury.
Little Chuck Little
Little Chuck Little is a student in Scout's first grade class who has the mindset of an adult. His real name is Charles. He is depicted as chiefly antagonistic of Burris Ewell. He is presented in the novel when Miss Caroline is frightened by Burris' lice. He warned Miss Caroline that if Burris wasn't released from class, he might try something that would put their classmates at risk. When Burris starts advancing on Little Chuck after his warning/veiled insult, Little Chuck's hand moved to his pocket (implying that he was going to pull out a knife) while saying, "Watch your step, Burris. I'd soon's kill you as look at you. Now go home." Scared by Little Chuck's bravery and his implied knife, Burris retreats. From this we see, through the narrative view of Scout, his gentlemanly attitude and how it calms Miss Caroline down. Little Chuck may be even more intelligent than originally meets the eye, as he easily could have been bluffing about the aforementioned implied knife to scare Burris into retreating.
Mr. Dick Avery
Mr. Dick Avery is an overweight neighbor who tells Jem and Scout that dramatic changes in the weather are caused by misbehaving children. He is seen by them urinating in the street. After it snows, they build a snowman resembling him. Mr. Avery can also be seen in the story pushing a mattress out of a window when Ms. Maudie's house catches fire. The kids including Jem and Scout always waited for him to do something interesting. For instance one night he urinated from his front porch in an impressive arch as said by Jem. Mr. Avery is also a neighborhood gossip like Miss Crawford.
Miss Gates is a third grade teacher at Scout's school who insists that America isn't prejudiced like Hitler's Germany. Despite this, Scout has heard her say that the blacks need to be taught a lesson after Tom's trial.
Eula May is Maycomb's most prominent telephone operator. She sends out public announcements, invitations, and activates the fire alarm. She announced the closing of schools when it snowed and announced the rabid dog that entered Maycomb. Also, Eula May knows everybody in the town because of her unique job.
Cecil Jacobs is a huge bully to Scout and Jem at school. Scout almost gets into a fight with Cecil over the trial of Tom Robinson. Scout beats up Cecil Jacobs because he says Atticus is a "Nigger Lover." He gives a current event on 'Old Adolf Hitler', and later, frightens Scout and Jem on their way to the Halloween pageant. He and Scout then pair up at the carnival; at the pageant afterwards, Cecil was a cow. He hints that black people are not as good as white people while talking about Hitler during current events. He also tends to take jokes too far. However importantly he shows how prejudice is passed on from parent to child.
Tim Johnson is a dog belonging to Harry Johnson (a character in the book who is mentioned once but is never seen). He is infected by rabies in chapter 10 and goes mad, putting everyone in the town at risk. Atticus is forced to shoot Tim Johnson before he reaches the Radley House or attacks anyone. When Atticus shoots the dog, his excellent marksmanship is revealed to Scout and Jem (his nickname used to be One-Shot Finch). His body is collected by Zeebo.
Simon Finch is the founder of Finch's Landing. He is only brought up in the first chapter of the book. He is the ancestor of Atticus, Jem and Scout Finch. He is a Cornish Methodist apothecary, who was also a fur trader. He fled from religious persecution in England and sailed across the Atlantic to Philadelphia, and then Jamaica, before finally settling in Alabama. After returning to St. Stephens, where he was married, with one son, six daughters, and three Negroes, he established the Finch homestead, Finch's Landing. He ended up dying rich, due to his medical practice.
Maxwell Green is the new lawyer in town. He usually takes Judge-assigned cases, but Judge Taylor assigned Tom Robinson's case to Atticus to give Tom Robinson a better chance.
Mr. X Billups
Mr. X Billups who is seen only once in the book, going to the trial, is described as a "funny man". X is his name, and not his initial. He was asked repeated times what his name was until he signed it. X was the name he had been given when he was born because his parents marked his birth certificate with an X instead of a name.
The Barber Sisters (Miss "Tutti" and Miss "Frutti")
The Barber Sisters (Miss Sarah, nicknamed "Tutti" and Miss Frances, nicknamed "Frutti") are maiden sisters who live in the only house in Maycomb with a cellar. They were originally from Clanton, Alabama; and are rumored to be Republicans. Besides their Yankee ways, both sisters are deaf (Tutti completely deaf; Frutti uses an ear trumpet), and had a Halloween prank pulled on them by some "wicked" schoolchildren (Scout claims she was not included) who put all of their furniture in their cellar.
Mrs. Gertrude Farrow
Mrs. Farrow is a lady in the missionary society who visits the Finch house occasionally.
- "What Kids Are Reading: The Book Reading Habits of Students in American Schools", Renaissance Learning, Inc., 2008. Retrieved on July 11, 2008. See also "What Kids Are Reading: The Book Reading Habits of Students in American Schools, Renaissance Learning, Inc. 2010. Retrieved on May 1, 2011. where To Kill a Mockingbird appears at number 2.
- Lee, Harper (1960). To Kill a Mockingbird. United States of America: Warner Books. p. 81.