To Kill a Mockingbird

Mr. Underwood 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 goings-on; people bring him the news instead. Though he’s racist and is one of the men who convenes at the Finches’ home in the days before Tom Robinson’s trial to speak to Atticus, he also stands up for what’s right and is ready to protect Atticus from a mob that gathers at the jailhouse. Following the jury’s guilty verdict and Robinson’s death at the hands of prison guards, Mr. Underwood takes a stand and insists that it’s unconscionable to kill a disabled person, invoking Atticus’s own adage that killing a mockingbird is a sin.

Mr. Underwood Quotes in To Kill a Mockingbird

The To Kill a Mockingbird quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Underwood or refer to Mr. Underwood. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Warner Books edition of To Kill a Mockingbird published in 1960.
Chapter 25 Quotes

Atticus had used every tool available to free men to save Tom Robinson, but in the secret courts of men's hearts Atticus had no case. Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed.

Related Symbols: The Mockingbird
Page Number: 275-76
Explanation and Analysis:
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Mr. Underwood Character Timeline in To Kill a Mockingbird

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Underwood appears in To Kill a Mockingbird. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15
Growing Up Theme Icon
Courage Theme Icon
Small Town Southern Life Theme Icon
The next day, Sunday, Atticus spends time in the yard talking with more men, including Mr. Underwood , the owner of the Maycomb Tribune who never leaves his linotype. Atticus shares with... (full context)
Prejudice Theme Icon
Small Town Southern Life Theme Icon
...office in the Maycomb Bank building, but he’s not there. They wonder if he’s visiting Mr. Underwood , who lives a few storefronts down on the other side of the jail. The... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
Small Town Southern Life Theme Icon
...if the men left. Atticus assures him that the men won’t bother him now, and Mr. Underwood interjects that he was keeping watch from his upstairs window. He waves his shotgun. Atticus... (full context)
Chapter 16
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
Prejudice Theme Icon
Small Town Southern Life Theme Icon
...next morning, Aunt Alexandra insists that children who sneak out are disgraces. Atticus notes that Mr. Underwood is a known racist; he’s surprised that Mr. Underwood was protecting him. Calpurnia serves Aunt... (full context)
Chapter 18
Growing Up Theme Icon
Judge Taylor calls for a 10-minute break. Mr. Underwood snorts when he sees Scout, Jem, and Dill in the balcony. Scout knows that there... (full context)
Chapter 21
Growing Up Theme Icon
Small Town Southern Life Theme Icon
...Atticus a note. Atticus asks Judge Taylor to go, since his children are missing, but Mr. Underwood interjects that Scout, Jem, and Dill are in the balcony. The children head downstairs and... (full context)
Chapter 25
Good, Evil, and Human Dignity Theme Icon
Prejudice Theme Icon
Courage Theme Icon
Small Town Southern Life Theme Icon
Following Tom’s death, Mr. Underwood wrote a bitter article about how it’s a sin to kill disabled people. He likened... (full context)