To Kill a Mockingbird Characters

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Jean Louise Finch (Scout) – The narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout is Atticus's daughter, Jem's sister, Alexandra and Jack's niece, and friends with Dill. In the three years the novel covers, she grows from six-years-old to nine. Scout is intelligent and loves to read, but is also headstrong, outspoken, and a tomboy. As the novel opens, Scout is both innocent and intolerant of anything new or different. Scout's innocence falls away in part because she is growing up and in part from the trial of Tom Robinson: she discovers how cruel and violent people can be. But she also learns, through Atticus's careful teaching, that the necessary response to intolerance is to try to understand its origins, to relate to people in terms of their dignity rather than their anger, and to use that foundation as a way to try to slowly change their minds.

•See Jean Louise Finch (Scout) quotes.

Jeremy Atticus Finch (Jem)Scout's older brother and Atticus's son. Jem is four years older than Scout, and therefore understands many of the events in Maycomb in a way that the younger Scout can't. Intelligent and adventurous as a child, Jem never loses these qualities but also grows into a young man who is strong, serious, idealistic, and sensitive. While both Scout and Jem love Atticus, Jem also reveres the justice and moral character that Atticus stands for, and which he wants to one day stand for himself.

•See Jeremy Atticus Finch (Jem) quotes.

Atticus FinchScout and Jem's widowed father, and Alexandra and Jack's brother. He employs Calpurnia, but thinks of her as family. A distinguished lawyer in Maycomb, Atticus believes in moral integrity, and stands up against the racism of Maycomb to defend a black man, Tom Robinson, falsely accused of rape by a white man, Bob Ewell. Yet as much as Atticus believes in acting morally, he does not believe in righteously condemning those who don't always act morally. Instead, Atticus teaches his children to search out and respect the dignity of every human being, to try to see the world from their individual point of view. Atticus Finch has become one of the great father figures in American literature.

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Arthur Radley (Boo) – A recluse who never sets foot outside his house, Arthur is an object of fascination for many Maycomb residents. Many rumors describe Arthur as a kind of monster who stabbed his father as a boy, eats cats, and haunts the neighborhood at night. He turns out to be innocent, gentle, kind, protective of children, intensely shy, and one of the mockingbirds to which the title of To Kill a Mockingbird refers.

•See Arthur Radley (Boo) quotes.

Calpurnia – The Finches' black cook, she essentially raised Scout and Jem. Atticus considers her family. Calpurnia is strict but loving. As a child, Scout resents Calpurnia's rules and restrictions, but as she grows she comes to recognize and respect Calpurnia for her strength, intelligence, and kindness.

Charles Baker Harris (Dill) - Jem and Scout's friend, who visits Maycomb each summer from his home in Meridian, Alabama. Miss Rachel Haverford is his aunt. Dill is an intensely imaginative and sensitive boy who uses his imagination to hide loneliness and pain: though his mother is divorced, he constantly makes up stories about the greatness of the father he barely knows. Dill is obsessed with Boo Radley.

•See Charles Baker Harris (Dill) quotes.

Miss Maudie Atkinson – A widowed neighbor of the Finches' and a childhood friend of Atticus, Alexandra, and Jack. Miss Maudie Atkinson is a friend and confidante to the Finch children. Her moral outlook is similar to Atticus's. She loves flowers and nature.

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Aunt AlexandraAtticus and Jack's sister, and Scout and Jem's aunt. Alexandra is stern and often haughty, and she believes in the importance of social class and gender roles.

Tom Robinson – A black man accused of rape by Bob Ewell, and defended by Atticus. Tom is a family man, father, and churchgoer. He does not have the use of his left arm.

•See Tom Robinson quotes.

Bob EwellMayella's father and the patriarch of the poor, vicious Ewell clan who live in an old cabin near the town dump. Ewell is thoroughly awful, a man who buys alcohol while letting his children go hungry.

Mayella EwellBob Ewell's daughter and oldest child. Lonely, friendless, and the only woman in her family, Mayella accuses Tom Robinson of raping her.

•See Mayella Ewell quotes.

Uncle JackAtticus and Alexandra's younger brother. Scout and Jem's uncle.

Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose – An old woman and neighbor of the Finch's. She is an old and bitter woman, and a racist through and through, though Jem and Scout discover she has her own dignity and courage deserving of respect.

•See Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose quotes.

Nathan RadleyBoo Radley's older brother. A cold and very religious man, he runs the Radley household.

Heck Tate – The sheriff of Maycomb.

Mr. Underwood – The writer, editor, and publisher of Maycomb's newspaper.

Mr. Dolphus Raymond – A wealthy white man who lives outside town with his black mistress and interracial children.

Mr. Cunningham – One of the poor Cunningham farmers and the father of Walter Cunningham.

Walter CunninghamMr. Cunningham's son and Scout's classmate.

Miss Rachel HaverfordDill's aunt and one of the Finch's neighbors.

Mrs. Grace Merriweather – A member of Aunt Alexandra's social circle in Maycomb.

Miss Stephanie Crawford – A neighbor of the Finch's and a big gossip.

Mr. Avery – Another of the Finch's neighbors.

Cecil Jacobs – One of Scout's classmates.

Judge Taylor – The judge at the trial of Tom Robinson.

Mr. Gilmer – The prosecutor at the trial of Tom Robinson.

Miss CarolineScout's first grade teacher.

Miss GatesScout's third grade teacher.

Reverend Sykes – The reverend at Calpurnia's church.

Lula – A member of the congregation at Calpurnia's Church.

Burris Ewell – A son of Bob Ewell.

Simon Finch – The first member of the Finch family to come to America.