Finch And Ewell: Opposites Essay

895 words - 4 pages

If the world was black and white, ninety-eight percent of the population would be gray. Only a handful would be black & white; which in this case, is a synonym for complete opposites. It just so happens that in Harper Lee’s only novel: To Kill a Mockingbird in the main setting of Maycomb County there exist a pair of opposites. Yes, Attics Finch and Bob Ewell represent the extreme opposites of Maycomb’s society; in their contrasting viewpoints, considerations/thoughtfulness and impressions.
To begin with, being opposites, they hold the different viewpoints held in Maycomb’s society. Firstly, the most influential thing concerning a person’s viewpoint is their inner psyche, which can be portrayed by a literary device which shows a person’s stream of consciousness. Now, the only character that Lee really gets into is Scout. But, through Scout’s innocent eyes we see Atticus Finch and Bob Ewell as they really are. And it shows us on many different accounts that Atticus believes in equality for all. This does concur with some of Maycomb’s residents. The evidence that Bob Ewell is totally different, however, comes in the verbal output. Where Bob Ewell explicitly says at the trial: “I seen that black nigger yonder ruttin’ on my Mayella.” We can clearly see how he regards coloured people like Tom Robinson. He cannot even be bothered to refer to him by his name, and instead uses derogatory terms. Lastly, when it comes to expressing a viewpoint, knowingly or unknowingly, body language is often the best teller. Take for example the Atticus’s cool and impeccably courteous manner, even when being shouted at by Mayella, he kept his head, or rather his body, in check. Contrastingly Bob Ewell is rather easy to read with his short temper and such. Thus, one can see how the viewpoint affects verbal outputs, body language and ultimately how different the two schools of thoughts are in Maycomb County.
Next, to give a fair representation of the differences between these two, one has to look into the thoughtfulness or thoughtlessness of these characters. First of all, one of the most fundamental ways to do this is to look into a person’s conscience. Regarding this, Atticus says: “Before I can live with other folks, I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rules is a person’s conscience.” This statement exemplifies how much Atticus thinks of his actions before committing them. Which leads us to our next point: the management of emotions. As shown throughout the trial (Lee chapter 17) one can clearly see that Bob Ewell is not the master of his emotions, judging from the fact that he was quite rudely...

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