The novel’s protagonist. Over the course of the novel’s three years, Scout grows from six to nine years old. She’s bright, precocious, and a tomboy. Many neighbors and family members take offense to her love… (read full character analysis)
Scout’s older brother. He’s nine when the novel begins. In Scout’s eyes, Jem is an expert on most things and is the ringleader of their group, especially once Dill arrives on the scene. He… (read full character analysis)
Scout and Jem’s father. Atticus is older than most fathers in Maycomb at almost 50 years old, and as a lawyer, Scout and Jem initially believe that Atticus doesn’t do anything of import. Atticus… (read full character analysis)
Jem and Scout’s friend and Miss Rachel’s nephew. Dill comes to stay with Miss Rachel in Maycomb one summer and immediately shows that he’s a prolific liar and storyteller. In his play dramas… (read full character analysis)
The racist patriarch of the Ewell family, which lives behind the Maycomb dump. His aggressive, drunken behavior causes people in Maycomb to give him a wide berth and allow him to break the rules, as… (read full character analysis)
The Finches’ neighbor across the street. Miss Maudie is in her 40s and a widow, and she loves to garden but hates her house. She’s a mostly benign presence in Scout’s life until Jem… (read full character analysis)
The Finches’ black cook. Atticus has employed her for years, and following the death of his wife, Calpurnia essentially raises Scout and Jem. Scout initially sees Calpurnia as tyrannical and horrible, but as she… (read full character analysis)
Atticus’s sister. She’s married, but Scout insists that her husband isn’t worth mentioning. Aunt Alexandra is a formidable lady and is the only Finch sibling who stayed at Finch’s Landing, the family’s old plantation… (read full character analysis)
A 25-year-old black man whom Atticus defends in a court case against the Ewells. Bob Ewell claims that his daughter, Mayella, was raped by Tom. However, Tom is kind, a churchgoer, and a married… (read full character analysis)
Mrs. Dubose is a widow who lives two doors down from the Finches. She’s ancient and unspeakably mean, shouting abuse from her porch at everyone, even children. Some, like Cecil, walk further every day… (read full character analysis)
A white man who, for much of the novel, Scout and most people in Maycomb believe is always drunk. He was supposed to marry years ago, but rumor has it that his fiancée committed suicide… (read full character analysis)
Bob Ewell’s 19-year-old daughter. She’s described as thick and used to hard labor and cultivates bright red geraniums in the family’s yard. and Scout can tell that though Mayella tries to keep clean, she’s… (read full character analysis)
Atticus’s brother who is 10 years younger and a doctor. He’s unmarried but has a female cat, and he spends a week every Christmas with Atticus, Scout, and Jem. Scout adores him… (read full character analysis)
The sole owner, writer, and editor of the Maycomb Tribune. According to Atticus, Mr. Underwood is an intense and profane man. He seldom leaves his home above the Tribune to report on any… (read full character analysis)
An older and cantankerous neighbor who lives across the street from the Finches. He’s a portly man who whittles, though only to make himself toothpicks. Scout, Jem, and Dill find Mr. Avery fascinating… (read full character analysis)
The sheriff in Maycomb. He’s a tall and slender man who wears cowboy boots. He carries a rifle, but he insists that he’s not as good of a shot as Atticus, though this is… (read full character analysis)
The elderly judge in Maycomb. He often looks like he’s asleep and not paying attention, but in reality, he pays close attention to court proceedings and is a strict and fair judge. He has a… (read full character analysis)
Arthur and Nathan Radley’s father. According to Jem, Mr. Radley didn’t do anything, while Miss Maudie explains that Mr. Radley was religious to the point where he wasn’t interested in anything to do… (read full character analysis)
The eldest Radley son. He left the Radley Place as a young adult but returns to care for Arthur when old Mr. Radley dies. Like the rest of his family members, Nathan is reclusive and… (read full character analysis)
The reverend of First Purchase, the black church in Maycomb. He’s a kind and generous man, though Scout notes that like all preachers in her experience, he’s preoccupied with sin and insisting that women are… (read full character analysis)
A poor boy in Scout’s first-grade class. Scout notes that Walter’s family is extremely poor, with no food or extra money to spare, hence why he comes to school on the first day without… (read full character analysis)
Walter Cunningham’s father. A year before the novel begins, Atticus helps Mr. Cunningham with some legal issues, and as a Cunningham, Mr. Cunningham is unable to pay Atticus with money. Instead, he pays with… (read full character analysis)
The Maycomb gossip. She’s a good Maycomb lady in that she’s active in the church and is very social, but Scout knows to not believe anything she says. Miss Stephanie very interested in Miss Maudie… (read full character analysis)
Dill’s aunt and the Finches’ next-door neighbor, with whom Dill comes to stay during the summer. She isn’t a major presence in Scout, Jem, and Dill’s lives, but she cares deeply for… (read full character analysis)
The prosecutor in Tom Robinson’s trial. He could be anywhere between 40 and 60 years old and Scout doesn’t know him well, as he’s from Abbottsville. Despite representing the Ewells, Mr. Gilmer seems just… (read full character analysis)
According to Scout, Miss Merriweather is the most devout lady in Maycomb. She’s a Methodist and leads the mission group. She’s shocked by the “sin and squalor” that African tribes live in, and she… (read full character analysis)
Scout’s first-grade teacher. She’s a young teacher from Winston County, which makes children suspicious of her—people from Winston County are, in the eyes of those in Maycomb County, very peculiar. Miss Caroline takes offense to Scout’s advanced literacy and introduces a new way of teaching in Maycomb.
Scout’s third-grade teacher. Though she expresses contempt for Hitler and insists that there’s no prejudice in America like there is in Germany (thanks to the U.S. being a democracy), Scout hears her say after Tom Robinson’s trial that the black residents of Maycomb got what they deserved.
Aunt Alexandra’s grandson. He’s a boring and spoiled child, and he’s one of the first to test Scout’s willingness to obey Atticus and not fight people when he bullies her for Atticus’s defense of Tom Robinson.
One of Scout’s classmates who lives down the street. Though he and Scout have a generally positive relationship, he is the first to bully Scout for Atticus’s role in defending Tom Robinson.
Little Chuck Little
A classmate in Scout’s first grade class. Despite being small, he frightens Burris Ewell. Though he is poor, he’s clean and a born gentleman.
Calpurnia’s adult son and the garbage collector in town. He also leads the black church in Maycomb in singing call-and-response hymns.
A hulking and filthy boy in Scout’s first-grade class. He frightens Miss Caroline with his lice and his sudden anger, but he doesn’t return after the first day.
A tall black woman who takes offense to Calpurnia bringing Scout and Jem to their church.
Scout’s ancestor. He founded Finch’s Landing, a plantation 20 miles east of Maycomb.
Mrs. Dubose’s black servant.
Tom Robinson’s wife.
The telephone operator in Maycomb.
The doctor in Maycomb.