!!Atticus Finch

An attorney, member of the state legislature, and father of Scout and Jem. Known for his skill with a rifle. He defends a black man named Tom Robinson who is accused of rape, and is referred to by his children by his first name, rather than "Dad" or "father".

* BadassBookworm: On the surface he's mild-mannered and bookish, always stuck behind a newspaper or lawbook. But he's also the best shot in Maycomb County and a very intimidating man besides.
* BadassPacifist: He sits outside the jailhouse unarmed to defend Tom Robinson from a lynch mob, and the defense he gives in the courtroom definitely counts.
* CrusadingLawyer: The town's not mad that Atticus was ''assigned'' to defend a black man. The problem is, ''he's actually doing the job properly'', which is tantamount to treason in the racist Deep South.
* DeadpanSnarker: It's how he survives in Maycomb without resorting to insults or harsh words. As a result, he's also a GentlemanSnarker.
* DeterminedDefeatist: Knows full well that the [[CommonNonsenseJury racist jury]] will never acquit Tom Robinson, even if all evidence points to his innocence. He gives his all in defending him anyway.
* DoesNotLikeGuns: Despite his skill, he will only use a gun when absolutely necessary. His kids don't even know that he's capable of wielding a gun until he has to put down a rabid dog.
* {{Expy}}: Atticus' character was based upon Harper Lee's father.
* GentlemanAndAScholar: It comes with the territory, being a traditional county-seat lawyer: erudite, civic-minded, and very well-mannered.
* HonorBeforeReason: Atticus facing the lynch mob without a weapon qualifies. If his kids hadn't shown up, he probably would have been strung up right alongside Tom.
* InformedAbility: For a lawyer, Atticus is surprisingly naive regarding court room politics, attempting to use reason and appealing to the jury's better nature in his defense of Tom rather than attempting to manipulate them into letting their disdain for the Ewell's override their prejudice. In contrast, the prosecuting attorney completely ignores the evidence and uses their racism to his advantage. This may be because he has very little trial experience, or it may be that he knows what the outcome of the trial will be, and is more interested in getting to the truth of the matter. Or he may simply be too honest a man to attempt such tactics.
* TheHero: Though the book is from Scout's 1st-person perspective, he's probably the real main character.
* KnightInSourArmour: Takes a dim view of the trial, but stays at it anyway.
* NiceGuy: A compassionate true gentleman and a kind-hearted father.
* OmnidisciplinaryLawyer: Atticus is a real estate lawyer who hates criminal law, but is still appointed to defend Tom Robinson. This is partially because he's a lawyer in a rural county seat, and therefore expected to be a general practitioner, and also because he is the only lawyer in the county who would take the job and do it well.
* PapaWolf: The only time he so much as contemplates violence is where his children are involved.
* ProBonoBarter: He accepts foodstuffs from the Cunninghams because they can't afford the fees and are too proud not to pay.
* RetiredBadass: Used to be a good sharpshooter. He also won't join the father's football team with the excuse that he's too old.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: Scout calls it his "last will and testament diction," and remarks that she often has to ask him to repeat sentences because of it. It is implied that Scout's narration is an attempt to imitate this.
* SimpleCountryLawyer: Subverted. Atticus really is a simple country lawyer, but he attempts to win the jury over with simple logic and appeals to their sense of humanity rather than charm and emotion.


!!Jean Louise "Scout" Finch

The narrator and protagonist of the novel.

* AuthorAvatar: She's just like Harper Lee was as a little girl.
* BerserkButton: Bad-mouthing Atticus. It gets the better of her even when she's trying to be a proper lady and not start fights, as her response to her cousin calling Atticus a "nigger-lover" is to immediately and viciously punch him in the face. She doesn't even know what the phrase means, but it sounded like an insult and that was enough.
* BoyishShortHair: In the movie (her hair length is not mentioned in the book, only that she has bangs).
* CharacterDevelopment: The book is a coming-of-age story for her.
* DecoyProtagonist: It is told from her point-of-view, but since she's a kid, she's more of a witness to events.
* HairTriggerTemper: She's ''really'' hot-headed, fighting and punching out anyone that gets on her bad side.
* InnocentlyInsensitive: Because she's just a kid, she doesn't realize how rude her brutal honesty and blunt language are to adults.
* InnocentProdigy: She's smart enough to read far above her grade-level without being taught and apparently has an innate grasp of mathematics. However, she's exactly as naive as you'd expect a pre-pubescent girl to be, and oftentimes can't understand the doings of the adults around her.
* MissingMom: Her mother died when she was two. Jem remembers her but Scout doesn't.
* PluckyGirl: In notable contrast to her more cynical older brother. Jem's not a fan, and thinks she should act more "ladylike."
* SchoolIsForLosers: She has this attitude, noting that she learns more reading at home with Atticus and that Atticus never had a day of formal schooling in his life. To her credit, Maycomb's school system isn't the greatest.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: How she narrates the story.
* SirSwearsALot: She's going through a cursing phase when the book takes place. Partially because she likes the words and partially because she hopes that Atticus will not make her go to school if he finds out she learned them there.
* {{Tomboy}}: Especially by 1930's standards, anyway. She doesn't like dresses, she plays with boys, and considers "you act like a girl" an insult.
* TomboyishName: Prefers being called Scout.
* WideEyedIdealist: Being just a child and all. She doesn't really understand why the lynch mob is at the jail house, only that they might hurt her father, and disarms them by talking to Mr. Cunningham.

!!Jeremy "Jem" Finch

Scout's older brother.

* AdorablyPrecociousChild: His knowledge of the law and trial procedure is so great that he gives excellent running commentary on Tom Robinson's trial. It's only adorable to the audience, though. Scout just finds it annoying.
* BerserkButton: He's very sensitive about Atticus and his mother. Mrs. Dubose pushing both at the same time causes him to fly into a rage so severe that it terrifies Scout.
* BigBrotherBully: He acts like this towards Scout pretty often, especially earlier in the book. He grows out of it eventually.
* BigBrotherInstinct: When he and Scout are attacked at the end of the book, he does everything possible to protect her. Which isn't much, given how young he is, but he still screams at her to run and tries to pull her to safety.
* BigBrotherMentor: He tries to be this to Scout, but he just comes off as bossy and officious.
* DisproportionateRetribution: He thinks so: Being forced to read to the repulsive old lady who insulted his mother while she goes into withdrawal from morphine because he cut up her flowers. In reality, he is being taught an important lesson about respect and bravery.
* InnocenceLost: More so than Scout, as Jem understands more of the social issues in his community and has a hard time meshing those racist values with people he grew up liking and respecting. Also, his belief in the legal system is shattered after the trial.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: He's about as mean as you would expect a boy his age to be, particularly to his sister. But he's a decent kid underneath it all.
* MissingMom: Unlike Scout, he's actually old enough to remember her.
* ScarsAreForever: Not "scar" as such, but the very first sentences of the book describe how Jem's arm was broken close to the elbow, which made it noticeably shorter than it should be from then on. [[spoiler:It happens in the climax of the book.]]
* StrongFamilyResemblance: Played with. Scout notes that Jem looks nothing like Atticus, more closely resembling their mother. However, the two have very similar expressions, such as they way they put their hands on their hips when being defiant.
* WideEyedIdealist: His belief in justice and the court system surpasses even Atticus', and throughout the trial he is confident that Atticus will win. Needless to say, when the guilty verdict comes back, he's ''crushed''.

!!Calpurnia "Cal"

Housekeeper of the Finch family and strict mother figure to Scout and Jem. Despite being black, she is able to read and write, and is the one who taught Scout to read and write.

* CloserToEarth: It's clear that she's the disciplinarian out of herself and Atticus, and generally has a more pragmatic approach to parenting the children. Scout notes that Atticus always takes Calpurnia's side in arguments between her and the children as well.
* DoubleConsciousness: When Scout notices that she acts and talks different when among Black people than she does in the Finch home, Calpurnia points out that she would feel out of place if she didn't match the people around her.
* KindlyHousekeeper: She treats Scout and Jem like her kids. Granted, it means disciplining them sometimes.
* MamaBear: She may not be their mom, but that doesn't stop her from protecting Scout and Jem.
* ParentalFavoritism: Scout ''thinks'' this is the case, with Calpurnia favoring Jem, but Atticus points out that Cal scolds her more because Scout gets into more trouble. When Scout goes off to school, their relationship greatly improves, mostly because Cal misses her so much.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: We get the impression that Scout doesn't like Calpurnia very much because she is so strict, but she ultimately has the children's bests interests at heart.

!!Charles Baker "Dill" Harris

An intelligent and imaginative boy whom Jem and Scout befriend. His carefree attitude hides his inner pain over his parents' divorce and his mother's alcoholism.

* BrilliantButLazy: He'd much rather put his considerable intelligence to concoct zany schemes and wild stories rather than anything productive.
* ChildhoodMarriagePromise: With Scout, who he insists is the only girl he will ever love. Given that he's based on [[CampGay Truman Capote]], this is probably true.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: He lives in a world of his own creation. Scout calls him "a pocket Merlin, whose head teemed with eccentric plans, strange longings, and quaint fancies."
* ConsummateLiar: His lies are always ridiculous, but he's so damn convincing that no one, save Atticus, ever calls him on it.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: His home life is less than ideal: abandoned by his father, neglected by his mother, and despised by both.
* DeadpanSnarker: The most cynical character in the story by far.
* DisappearedDad: He keeps inventing different reasons why his dad's not around.
* {{Expy}}: For Harper Lee's friend, Truman Capote.
* InsufferableGenius: He's a little bratty and self-important, but it's largely a facade.
* LargeHam: Is said to act this way when he plays villains in Jem and Scout's games.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: In the movie after attempting to get close to Boo Radley's house and knocking on his door. He, Jem, and Scout make a break for it and hide around a nearby house. Dill quickly tells the two "see ya next summer" and takes off.

!!Nathan Radley

The older brother of Arthur "Boo" Radley who imprisoned his son in their house for years.

* TheFundamentalist: Miss Maudie calls him a "foot-washing Baptist," the ultra-conservative type that thinks fun and pleasure are sinful. He gets it from his father, and its part of the reason he treats Boo the way he does.
* LikeFatherLikeSon: According to Scout, Nathan and his father are exactly the same- the only difference being Nathan will respond back when greeted.
* TerseTalker: When he does deign to speak, he tries to keep it as brief as possible.

!!Arthur "Boo" Radley

A quiet and reclusive young man and neighbor to the Finches. He is almost never let out of his house and is a mysterious figure to Maycomb, often leading to rumors of just who he is.

* BigDamnHeroes: At the end of the book.
* DarkIsNotEvil: He's a very scary person, but he's far from evil.
* TheDreaded: Jem, Scout, and Dill are terrified of him, to the point where just touching the Radley house is an act of great bravado.
* TheGhost: Initially until the final part of the book.
* GoodAllAlong: Jem and Scout start to realize this when Boo leaves them gifts in the knot-hole of the tree.
* {{Irony}}: When Arthur gets into trouble with his gang, he is spared being sent to the reformatory by the timely intervention of his father. Unfortunately, this made him miss out on the best secondary education available in Maycomb County, so while the other members of his gang have gone on to leave successful and productive lives, Boo is a shut-in doing nothing but fueling children's ghost stories.
* HollywoodPersonalityDisorders: Schizoid Personality Disorder in his case.
* MadmanInTheAttic: The town has a lot of different stories about why Boo is locked up, such as that he once stabbed his father with a pair of scissors.
* MissingMom: Unlike his father, who we know is dead, we have no clue what happened to his mother.
* MisunderstoodLonerWithAHeartOfGold: Former TropeNamer. Boo's not quite right in the head, but he's hardly the AxCrazy lunatic that the town thinks he is. When the kids take an interest in him, he responds with the utmost kindness. [[spoiler: He even saves their lives at the climax of the book.]]
* NotEvilJustMisunderstood: He's definitely not normal, having some sort of aversion to people and the outside, but he's the farthest thing from evil you can get.
* PapaWolf: Kills Bob Ewell when he tries to murder Atticus' children.
* ShrinkingViolet: While forced into reclusion by his father (or likely because of this), Boo is still very quiet and unsure around others. {{Discussed}} by Sheriff Tate, that Boo would likely find the mass attention of others overwhelming.
* SocialServicesDoesNotExist: No one intervened when Boo's father imprisoned him at home for years on end. Though, considering how small and rustic Maycomb is, this is probably a literal example.
* WriteWhoYouKnow: He's based on Alfred "Son" Boleware, a man from Harper Lee's neighborhood who was put under house arrest by his father well into adulthood after a teenage vandalism incident.

!!Maude "Maudie" Atkinson

Another neighbor of the Finches and childhood acquaintance of Atticus. Whenever Scout has no one to talk to, she usually talks with Maudie. She also loves baking Lane cakes.

* CommonalityConnection: With Scout. They develop a fast friendship based on their mutual love of outdoors and dislike of traditionally "girly" things. She's also the one female Scout can spend time with when Jem and Dill lose interest in playing with her.
* CoolOldLady: Wins a [[AsTheGoodBookSays quote-off]] with some Bible-thumpin' fundamentalists that criticize her vibrant garden.
* DemotedToExtra: Her role in the film is microscopic compared to in the book. Her best lines (notably the speech that gives the book its name), are instead given to Atticus.
* DistaffCounterpart: Scout occasionally compares her wisdom to her father's.
* GrayEyes: One of the only characters whose eye-color is mentioned. The significance of this is not clear, but she does fit the stereotype of being calm, composed, and possessing extraordinary inner strength.
* IntergenerationalFriendship: She's just as good a friend to Scout as she is to Atticus.
* NatureLover: Spends all of her time out in her garden.
* ThePollyanna: Even after her house burns down, she still mainly talks about how much bigger she'll make her garden be for her next house.
* TitleDrop: "Remember, it's a sin ''to kill a mockingbird.''"

!!Robert E. Lee "Bob" Ewell

Main antagonist of the novel. A deadbeat, and the shame of Maycomb County. Accuses Tom Robinson of raping his daughter Mayella and successfully lands him in jail.

* AbusiveParents: Physically abuses Mayella, and it's strongly implied that he sexually abuses her as well.
* AssholeVictim: [[spoiler: While Boo only killed him to save Jem and Scout, he totally deserved it many times over.]]
* BigBad: Or as close as you can get in the book -- his actions set the plot into motion and heavily impact the main characters.
* CorruptHick: ''Oh yeah.'' Racist, impoverished, [[spoiler:possibly sexually abusive of his own daughter]], and spending his few welfare checks on alcohol.
* DirtyCoward: He won't confront the best marksman in town, but he will [[spoiler:try to kill his children while they're walking home in the dark]].
* DisproportionateRetribution: What motivates him throughout the novel, such as when he tries to break into a judge's house.
* EgomaniacHunter: He hunts out of season and eats wild game exclusively. The sheriff lets him get away with it because he knows that Ewell's poaching is the only thing that keeps his children from starving to death.
* EvilCounterpart: To Atticus and possibly Boo Radley.
* EvilIsPetty: After the trial, he harasses Tom Robinson's wife and and tries to kill [[spoiler: Jem and Scout]], all because he didn't like being embarrassed in court.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler: Stabbed with his own knife by Boo Radley.]]
* IronicName: He's ''really'' not worthy of being named after Robert E. Lee.
* {{Jerkass}}: He is the most despicable character by a pretty wide margin. Not a single citizen of Maycomb has anything nice to say about him, and even Atticus hates him fiercely.
* KickTheDog: Harassing Tom Robinson, and even after his conviction and death, stalks and harasses his widow as well.
* LowerClassLout: He's what Maycomb calls "white trash," a dirty, unkempt, crass, ignorant man who spends his welfare checks on whiskey while his children starve.
* NamedAfterSomebodyFamous: Robert E. Lee. According to Harper Lee, this was done to highlight his low-class background, since it was traditional for poor southern whites to name their kids after Confederate generals.
* ThePigPen: To the extent that people are reluctant to shake his hand.
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: To the point where ''Robert E. Lee himself'' would be turning in his grave if he heard such a lout bore his name.
* RevengeByProxy: [[spoiler: After Atticus puts holes in his accusations toward Tom Robinson, Ewell tries to murder Atticus' children.]]
* ASinisterClue: Atticus points out in court that Mayella's injuries were caused by someone left-handed. Like her dad. Technically, Ewell's ambidextrous (can use "one hand as good as the other"), but given that the defendant ''can't'' use their left hand....
* TheSociopath: He's an abusive father with no concern for his family, he threatens anyone who rubs him the wrong way, he forces his daughter to falsely accuse her friend of rape, [[spoiler:and he tries to murder Atticus' children]].
* StupidEvil: He seems to prioritize being an ass over everything else, even his own sense of self-preservation. Not to mention his lie is so flimsy and transparent that he never would have gotten away with it if Tom Robinson wasn't black.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Subverted: Everyone knows that Ewell is a total slime. He only wins against Tom because he is white in a backwards Southern town. And the trial only reveals more unsavory facts, driving him into his vengeful rampage later in the book.
* WouldHurtAChild: In addition to the heavy implications that he abuses his own children, [[spoiler: he tries to kill Scout and Jem to get back at their father.]]

!!Mayella Ewell

Bob Ewell's daughter. Accuser of being raped by Tom Robinson. She is the novel's secondary antagonist, but not by choice.

* AdaptationalAttractiveness: The book describes her as heavy set and ugly while in the film she's rather thin and slightly disheveled.
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: She is treated like trash by the rest of Maycomb because she's a Ewell. There are signs that she wishes to rise above her family's reputation, but no one is willing to give her that chance.
* AssholeVictim: Debatably. She's from a pretty messed-up family and isn't a nice person at all, but it's possible she's only like this ''because'' of her father.
* BrokenBird: Her life has very little good in it. When Atticus addresses her with basic courtesy, she thinks he's mocking her.
* FriendlessBackground: She is too busy trying to control/care for her many siblings and trying (but failing) to keep their home clean that she has no friends. Part of the reason as to why she came onto Tom, as he was the only person who did not treat her badly because she was "trash", and was friendly to her.
* MissingMom: Became a ParentalSubstitute to her siblings after Mrs. Ewell died.
* PromotedToParent: [[spoiler:After Boo kills her father to protect Scout and Jem. This is actually a promotion in every sense of the word, considering how awful Mr. Ewell was.]]
* SocialServicesDoesNotExist: No one intervenes to help the Ewell family, despite its many problems. Justified, as social services would have been underdeveloped at the time the novel takes place.
* TraumaCongaLine: Mayella's life has been one long procession of pain. She loses her mother at a young age, endures physical (and possibly sexual) abuse from her father, lives in poverty and squalor, struggles to raise her siblings alone, has no friends, and is an outcast because of her "white trash" background. After she comes onto Tom, the only person who showed her kindness, her father forced her to falsely accuse Tom of rape.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: What starts of merely as a bid to get some positive attention turned into a massive spectacle that costs a man his life and ignites the racial tension simmering in Maycomb.

!!Tom Robinson

Black man accused of raping and assaulting Mayella Ewell. His left arm is crippled, which becomes a vital point in his trial. Despite Atticus's efforts, he is found guilty and imprisoned.

* NiceGuy: He was one of the only people who treated Mayella with kindness, and pitied her even as she ruined his life.
* RedRightHand: Averted; it's actually a plot point that his left hand is damaged beyond repair. Mayella's injuries were from a left-handed assailant.
* ScaryBlackMan: Averted big-time; he's a fairly intimidating guy, but has a gentle soul.
* SuicideByCop: One way of perceiving [[spoiler:his death.]]
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: The real tragedy is that we don't know this for sure. No one is interested in whether Tom was a good man, since his guilt was decided long before the trial began.

!!Aunt Alexandra Finch

Atticus' sister and Scout and Jem's aunt. She is obsessed with social status and family respectability.

* {{Foil}}: To Miss Maudie. Both are around the same age, and even grew up near each other, but Miss Maudie is more like a female version of Attticus, while Alexandra couldn't be more different.
* GossipyHens: After the trial, Alexandra hosts "missionary teas," which are more or less an excuse for the women of Maycomb County to get together and gossip. Through them, we learn how severely Atticus' reputation has suffered due to his participation in the Robinson case.
* HouseWife: As tradition dictates. Though, given that she's the only daughter of an old, propertied Southern family, there's not much need for her to work.
* InnocentlyInsensitive: She generally means well, but she doesn't seem to realize that her open disapproval of Scout and Atticus does more harm than good.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: She does genuinely care about her family, it's just that she's so painfully conventional that she can only show it through scolding them. It really shows after the trial, where she is almost reduced to tears when she sees how much Atticus has to endure for sticking to his beliefs.
* MoralMyopia: One of the reasons she is so opposed to Atticus taking Tom Robinson's case is that she prefers the execution of an innocent man to the scandal of a white Southern woman tempting a Negro.
* NiceToTheWaiter: One of the most stark contrasts between Alexandra and Atticus is the way they treat Calpurnia. Atticus values Calpurnia and treats her like family. Alexandra openly disrespects Cal and tries to get Atticus to fire her on multiple occasions.
* ProperLady: In the form of a grown-up SouthernBelle. Alexandra is deeply dedicated to the ideals of Southern womanhood, which means pursuing idle, feminine hobbies and avoiding conflict at all costs. She tries to mold Scout into her image, but her attempts always miscarry.
* SiblingYinYang: She is Atticus' complete opposite. Whereas Atticus is civic-minded, honest to a fault, permissive with his children and very liberal when it comes to matters of tradition and community, Alexandra cares more about appearances than substance, is strict and uncompromising with Scout and Jem, and is more than willing to cave to community pressures to protect her family's name.
* UselessBystanderParent: She moves in with Atticus in order to help the kids cope with the fallout of his decision to defend Atticus. However, she's very little help in this regard, mostly because she agrees with the community, and is more preoccupied with dealing with a rebellious Scout.

!!Uncle John Hale "Jack" Finch

Atticus' younger brother and Scout and Jem's uncle. Like Atticus, he has eschewed family tradition to practice a learned profession, becoming the first physician in the Finch family.

* BelligerentSexualTension: With Miss Maudie. He asks her to marry him on a pretty regular basis, which apparently he's been doing since they were children. He claims it's just a way to annoy her, but it is subtly implied that he does mean it to some degree.
* CoolUncle: Unmarried, he's free to dote on Jem and Scout during the holidays. The kids consider him the one positive part of their visits to Finch Landing, almost worth enduring Aunt Alexandra and Cousin Francis.
* ConfirmedBachelor: Unlike Atticus, he's still well into middle age without having ever married. Part of the reason is because he dreads having children of his own.
* OvershadowedByAwesome: As much as Jem and Scout might love Uncle Jack, his parenting skills pale in comparison to Atticus'. Jack is painfully aware of this fact.


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