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Bob Ewell Moving to Alcoholism in To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird is many issues: just to name a handful of, it is a comment on racism, class, and the mob mentality. In this brilliant novel, there are a lot of well defined characters whose goings on in the fictional Maycomb County support to propel the story along. One particular of the most exciting characters, in my opinion, is Bob Ewell. At 1st, he appeared to me as the stereotypical antagonist. He is racist, rude, abusive, and an alcoholic. Even his description of being dirty and cruel fits perfectly with the antagonist idea. The antagonists in some stories look to be slapped with each other, feel that they are evil just for the sake of being evil, and Bob Ewell seemed to be no exception. Even so, right after the reader who appears into his traits with the help of modern psychology will comprehend that there might be a lot more to him than is initially evident. When you look at his actions and character in basic, you start to understand that nearly all of Bob Ewell’s traits could be symptoms of alcoholism. What if to Kill a Mockingbird’s greatest villain is a comment on alcoholism? What if the downfall of Bob Ewell is but an example of the downfall of the several people living with alcoholism?

It is effectively established throughout the story that Bob Ewell is an alcoholic. One example of this is in the course of the trial in chapter 18, when Atticus is asking Mayella concerns. When Atticus asks Mayella if she loves her father, she says that he is tolerable. “‘Except when he’s drinking?’ asked Atticus so gently that Mayella nodded” (Lee, 245). Mayella presumably didn’t disclose this details voluntarily since her father was sitting mere feet away at the time, but she is set at ease to inform the truth by Atticus. Another instance of Mr Ewell being an alcoholic is earlier in the book, when Atticus is talking to Scout about the Ewells. During this scene, he says “…but when a man (Bob Ewell) spends his relief checks on green whiskey, his children have a way of crying from hunger pains” (Lee, 41). This is yet another bit of proof that shows us that Bob Ewell is an alcoholic who would rather commit the finite quantity of cash his family has on alcohol, instead of the meals that his household will want to survive. Only a person who is addicted to alcohol would place getting whiskey ahead of obtaining food. According to the American Addiction Center, this is a telltale sign of an addiction. In their write-up on the indicators of addiction, they list “Spending excessive amounts of funds on the substance” as one particular of the signs of an addiction (American Addiction Centers, 1). Before extended, alcohol starts to totally take over Ewell’s life. Chapter 27 is where Ewell started the transition from a rude, racist to a feasible killer. An excerpt from web page 332 of To Kill a Mockingbird points to how this could have started. In this scene, “Mr. Bob Ewell acquired and lost a job in a matter of days”(Lee, 332). In the same section, Scout remarks that “he was the only man that I had ever heard of who was fired from the WPA for laziness” (Lee, 332). According to the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery, one of the achievable symptoms of addiction in the workplace is when an person is “Withdrawn from responsibility.” and they “experience a loss of interest.” (IIAR, 1). Whilst this can be seen as “laziness”, truly job functionality is described as “far beneath the expected level,” (IIAR, 1) particularly in the later stages of alcoholism.

Yet another example of alcohol addiction taking more than Bob Ewell’s life is when Scout is discussing Bob Ewell and she says that “Ruth Jones, the welfare lady, stated Mr Ewell openly accused Atticus of obtaining his job” (Lee, 332). This blame game is practically the trademark of a late-stage alcoholic, according to an write-up from The Recovery Village. In this report, it is stated that “When it comes to the blame game, alcoholics are specialists. We can blame any person and anything but ourselves when it comes to the predicaments we find ourselves in and the selections we make.” (The Recovery Village, 1).Ultimately, we come to the climax of the story, which is also the climax of Mr Ewell’s alcoholism. In this scene, Bob Ewell tries to kill Scout and Jem. We know that alcohol is the primary influence behind Bob Ewell’s actions since of a number of moments in the chapter. For the duration of the attack, Scout accidentally touches Bob Ewell’s face, pondering that it is Jem’s, and notes that “I smelled stale whiskey.” (Lee, 352). This shows us that Bob Ewell has been drinking that night and is presumably drunk.

We get further confirmation of Ewell being drunk when Scout and Jem arrive home safely and commence to unravel what occurred. When Mr Tate comes to the residence and tells them that Bob Ewell died, he describes him as a “Low-down skunk with adequate liquor in him to make him brave enough to kill two youngsters.” (Lee, 360). This confirms that Ewell tried to kill them due to the fact of his alcoholism. This quote also shows us that alcoholism can make a individual go as far as killing young children. He totally lost manage of his inhibitions, as alcoholics do. He has gone further than he has ever gone prior to.There need to be no doubt in anybody’s mind that Mr Bob Ewell is a loathsome character, but maybe we should really feel sorry for him also. Not since of his actions, for which there is definitely no justification. No, we ought to feel sorry for him since he is the symbol of a much larger issue facing the world, the dilemma of alcoholism. His death, whilst an essential one in the novel, is maybe far more critical in the context of alcohol addiction due to the fact it symbolizes the individuals who have died of alcohol addiction.

In professional writing, such as the writing of Harper Lee, there are no mistakes. All characters in the novel are there for a objective. Atticus is there to portray the voice of cause in chaos, Scout is there to represent the pureness of a kid, and Bob Ewell is there to represent (on leading of the racism he exhibits in the book) alcoholism, an epidemic that continues to this day. As Atticus says to Scout, “You never truly comprehend a person until you take into account items from his point of view — till you climb into his skin and walk about in it” (Lee, 39). Atticus is right of course. Till we have seen Ewell’s struggle with alcoholism from his eyes, we can’t truly understand him, can we?

Works Cited

“Drug Addiction Signs.” American Addiction Centers,“Why Do Alcoholics Blame Others? (Answered By An Alcoholic).” The Recovery Village, people/#gref.“Our Mission:” Identifying Alcohol or Drug Abuse in the Workplace :: IIARC, Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York :Harper Perennial Modern day Classics, 2006. Print.
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