In To Kill A Mocking Bird, Harper Lee Gives Us A Very Detailed Descrip

This essay In To Kill A Mocking Bird, Harper Lee Gives Us A Very Detailed Descrip has a total of 989 words and 5 pages.


In To Kill a Mocking Bird, Harper Lee gives us a very detailed description of
Robert Ewell, his family, and how he lives.

A good example is the passage in which Robert Ewell testifies in the Tom
Robinson Trial. This is a description of the Ewell's home as well as an
insight into the Ewells themselves. We learn what kind of a father Robert is
and the kind of life into which he has forced his eldest daughter, Mayella.
We also see how the county of Maycomb cruelly discriminates against the black
community even though they are more respectable than people like the Ewells.
Lee uses such detail in the account of the Ewell cabin because the best way to
understand the Ewells is to understand how they live. For example, she
states, "The cabin's plank walls were supplemented with sheets of corrugated
iron, its general shape suggested it's original design: square, with four tiny
rooms opening onto a shotgun hall, the cabin rested uneasily upon four
irregular lumps of limestone. Its windows were merely open spaces in the
walls, which in the summer were covered with greasy strips of cheese cloth to
keep out the varmints that feasted on Maycomb's refuse." This description
paints a very vivid picture of the cabin and also tells a little bit about the
Ewells themselves. From this we can infer that the Ewells took very little (if
any at all) pride in their home and it's appearance. Later in the passage Lee
adds, "What passed for a fence was bits of tree limbs, broomsticks and tool
shafts, all tipped with rusty hammer heads, shovels, axes and grubbing hoes,
held on with pieces of barbed wire." By now it is apparent that the only
household repairs the Ewells make are with things they find at the dump. The
image Lee is trying to form of these people is made very obvious by her use of
details.
The passage also gives quite a bit of insight into Mr.Ewell himself. For
example, Lee states, "The varmints had a lean of it, for the Ewells gave the
dump a thorough gleaning every day^?" This statement informs us that the Ewells
main source of revenue is form the town dump. Quite a pathetic way to keep
ones family fed; but what can one expect for an unemployed alcoholic like
Mr.Ewell? As Lee states earlier in the passage, "No truant officers could keep
their numerous offspring in school; no public health officer could free them
from congenital defects, various worms, and diseases indigenous to filthy
surroundings."

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