Mayella Violet Ewell is guilty of tempting a respectable Negro man and trying to kill a mockingbird. She is committing a deadly crime: ‘she did something that in our society is unspeakable: she kissed a black man’ Atticus explains. But when her father Bob Ewell sees this felony he hollers: ‘I’ll kill ya’ you god damn whore’, it is unclear who he directs this to but he later argues it to be focussed at Tom Robinson. The children, especially Scout, have already judged the Ewell’s: ‘The boy stood up. He was the filthiest human I had ever seen. His neck was dark grey, the backs of his hands were rusty, and his finger nails were black deep into the quick.’ This is Scout’s description of Burris Ewell, Mayella’s brother.
Mr Cunningham is part of lynch mob from the outskirts of town. At the Maycomb town jail he intended to commit the crime of killing a mockingbird; however, he was confronted by Atticus and Scout. If Scout had not have been there it would have been a different story; Scout made him realise what it would have been like to be in her shoes and that made him feel guilty about the crime he was about to perform. Scout singled him out and when you are individualised you would rarely commit crimes rather than if you were in a group: ‘Hey Mr Cunningham’ says Scout not realising the importance of this. None of the men making up the lynch mob would have killed Tom Robinson by themselves. Scout knew him and separated him from the group and talked to him about his son, reminding himself of his children and Tom has children which made him feel guilty.
Bob Ewell is blameworthy of killing a mockingbird because he is untruthful in saying Tom raped Mayella, he savagely beat Mayella and held Tom responsible. He tries to convict Tom but the evidence is staked against the Ewell’s, however a white woman’s word against a black mans word is sufficient to convict for rape. The children see the conviction as unfair and Dill starts crying: ‘For some reason Dill had started crying and couldn’t stop’ Dill thinks it unfair to treat Negroes maliciously and treat them differently to white people. As Dill comes from a more northern part of America he is not used to such racism and prejudice.
The town of Maycomb is partially responsible for killing a mockingbird as most citizens’ outcast the Negroes and completely ignore them. The jury that convicted Tom Robinson was made up of the inhabitants of Maycomb and the surrounding area, so of the jury would have been part of the lynch mob.
Cousin Francis is indirectly killing a mockingbird, without even realising it. He taunts Scout and badmouths Atticus by naming him a ‘nigger lover’, Scout doesn’t know exactly what it means: ‘It’s just the way he said it’ Scout informs Atticus.