To Kill a Mockingbird Character List đź“–

Meet the characters in ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. From Scout the adorable tomboy, to the mysterious Boo Radley and the noble Atticus Finch.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee

The narrator and some other characters in To Kill a Mockingbird are kids, bringing an innocent perspective to the story. We also have characters who are completely good, some that are completely bad, and then characters who have varying combinations of good and bad.

Scout (Jean Louise Finch)

Narrator of the story
Intelligent and kind-hearted
Is somewhat of a tomboy
Believes in what is right and fair

Scout (Jean Louise Finch) Character Art

Scout is the narrator of the story. The events in To Kill a Mockingbird begin when she was six years old down to when she was almost nine years old. She is very intelligent and could read way before she started school and understood vocabulary that her peers could not even imagine existed, but despite being good at reading, she does not like arithmetic. Scout’s first grade teacher, Miss Caroline takes offence to her advanced literacy level. She is stubborn, hot-headed, and somewhat of a tomboy. She dresses like a boy, plays with boys, and even gets into fights with boys.

She is direct and speaks her mind without mincing words, likes to have her way, and puts up a fight when she does not. The conventional women of Maycomb County consider her unusual in her dressing and manners and believe this is because she has no feminine influence in her life. In actuality, she has a feminine influence from their domestic worker, Calpurnia. But because Calpurnia is a black woman and only a domestic servant to the Finch family, her feminine influence on the children is considered inappropriate. Scout later begins to see the expectations around being a lady with the coming of her aunt Alexandria. After experiencing the prim manners and forced politeness among the conventional ladies of Maycomb, Scout decides that she would not like to be a lady.

Although stubborn, Scout is a good kid, she loves her father Atticus, and her brother Jem, she does her best to live by everything Atticus teaches her and holds no malice or prejudice against people on the basis of race or class. Scout convinces Mr. Walter Cunningham, with her polite manners, to disperse the crowd attempting to lynch Tom Robinson at the jail.

The major development of her character is in learning that the world is not void of evil and that life can sometimes be unfair to good people. The story ends with her still being a child but becoming much wiser from the experiences of her young age.

Jem (Jeremy Atticus Finch)

Scout’s older brother
Becomes more distant from scout and becomes jaded to society
Loves playing outdoors

Jem (Jeremy Atticus Finch) Character Art

Jem is Scout’s older brother who is older than Scout by four years. At first, the gap in their ages does not show as they were both kids playing together. As a boy, Jem is a regular kid, he loves to play outdoors, clings to everything his father says, and can easily be jeered into displaying acts of bravado even when he is scared to death. But as he grows into puberty, he begins to prefer solitude over Scout’s playful company and becomes more sober and introspective.

Jem’s character development is one of the most precipitous in the novel. He grows into puberty, a development stage where one is neither a child nor an adult and a whole lot of things are confusing. It is at this emotionally volatile stage in his life that Jem witnesses the sheer injustice and racism in his society and it makes him melancholic.

Dill (Charles Baker Harris)

Unloved and unwanted child from the neigborhood
Sensitive to the injustice of the world
Friends with Scout and Jem

Dill (Charles Baker Harris) Character Art

Dill is a boy who visits the neighborhood in the summer and became friends with Scout and Jem on the first of such visits. He is a motherless child who is passed from one relative to another to be cared for.

He is sharp-witted and imaginative. He formulates tales in his imagination and passes them off as the truth. His imagination intensifies his interest in Boo Radley as a phantom and he always comes up with daring tasks to get them to see Boo Radley. After making up so many lies about his father, he eventually gets to meet his father but runs away from his father’s home because he feels unloved and unwanted by his father.

He also gets to experience the racial discrimination in the society and it breaks him down into tears, casting him as a soft-hearted boy. In his childish way, he promises to marry Scout and make babies with her.

Dill resolves to become a clown when he grows up to laugh at the world for the foolishness of its injustice.

Atticus Finch

Brilliant lawyer
Believes in racial equality
Widowed father to Scout and Jem

Atticus Finch Character Art

Atticus Finch is Scout and Jem’s widowed father. He is a maverick and a brilliant lawyer. He is among the few people in the county that believe in racial equality. He raises his children with an unconventional parenting style—allowing them to call him by his first name, answering their questions frankly, instilling morals, kindness, and equal love for humanity in them, yet giving them room to have an individuality of judgment.

He descends from a well-respected local family but does not follow the conventions of society. He is a great marksman with a gun but stopped hunting and shooting because he believes his shooting accuracy is an unfair advantage.

He is calm, polite, and always appears unperturbed.  Asides from learning of the power of a child’s courage from Scout, his character remains mostly consistent throughout the novel. His reputation corresponds with his personality as there is no form of duplicity in his life. Atticus is the voice of conscience, reason, and morality in To Kill a Mockingbird.


Housekeeps and nannys for the Finch’s
Hides her education to fit in
Seen a tyrant by scout

Calpurnia Character Art

Calpurnia is a black woman who works for Atticus Finch as housekeeper, chef, and babysitter. Scout perceives Calpurnia as a tyrant because she always prevails on stubborn Scout to do as she is instructed.

Calpurnia has worked for the Finches for many decades. She learned how to read and speak correct formal English from the white people she has worked for. It is through Calpurnia that Scout is introduced into the world of the black people and she begins to understand that the whites and the blacks, although together in the same small town, live in entirely different worlds.

Race forces Calpurnia to live a life of duplicity—she is literate and can speak correct grammar fluently but hides this ability of hers whenever she is in her black neighborhood with her fellow black people to avoid them perceiving her as an outsider with superior airs like the upper-class white people.

Boo Radley

Reclusive shut in
Wrongly seen as a monster by children
Abused by family but kind and caring

Hero of the novel

Boo Radley Character Art

Boo, or Arthur Radley is a recluse living in the neighborhood who has stayed away from public sight for so long that he becomes a phantom. He is the subject of adult gossip, and children’s wild imaginations and is accused of being responsible for every weird occurrence in the neighborhood. The pecan seeds that fall from the tree in the Radley place into the adjourning schoolyard are never consumed by the school children as they believe the seeds are all poisoned by Boo Radley.

At first, Scout and the other children perceive Boo Radley as an evil monster because of the adult gossip about him, then further down the line, we see that Boo is a victim of an abusive family, controlled by his father and later his older brother, Nathan. Boo’s name is Arthur, and he was once a normal teenage boy going out with friends and engaging in fun activities, but a minor misdemeanor makes his father shut him up indoors so much that he never steps foot on the porch.

Although shut up indoors, he observes everything going on in the neighborhood and silently renders help when he can. He is kind and loving to children and leaves presents for Jem and Scout in the hollow of an oak tree.

Boo Radley is an example of a good person shrouded in myths and creepiness. But he ends up being the hero that saves the day at the climax of the novel.

Tom Robinson

“Mockingbird” of the story
Wrongly accused of rape
Law-abiding and hardworking

Tom Robinson Character Art

A young black man that is law-abiding and hardworking. He is crippled in one arm but still very physically strong.  He is married with kids and caters for his family. He is kind and out of the kindness of his heart, helps Mayella Ewell with some tough chores without asking for payment.

Tom Robinson understands the racial discrimination against blacks in his society and that is why when Mayella Ewell makes sexual advances at him, he refuses her advances politely in a bid not to hurt her feelings and the moment he senses Bob Ewell’s outrage at the shameful display by Mayella, he flees as fast as he can. Because he fears that the outcome would never bode well for him as a black man.

His greatest fears are brought to life when he gets arrested on the false allegation of raping Mayella Ewell. And when the jury pronounces him guilty despite Atticus Finch’s strong defense, he decides to take his fate into his own hands and tries to escape from prison.

Tom Robinson is the mockingbird of the story who despite being good and innocent, is destroyed by the cruel and unjust people of the society.   

Miss Maudie Atkinson

Kind widow who bakes snacks for children
Loves plants
Corrects lies about Boo Radley

Miss Maudie Atkinson Character Art

A middle-aged widow who loves plants and the outdoors. She is sharp-tongued but emotionally intelligent and sensible. She is a great baker who indulges the children around her with some of the snacks she bakes.

She was once a Baptist but later stopped going to church and became defiant to threats of damnation from former fellow church members who believed that her cultivation of beautiful flowers and her admiration of plants is a sin.  She is an optimist who looks on the bright side even in the face of disaster. When she lost her big house to fire, she saw it as an opportunity to make more room for plants in her yard by building a smaller house.

Miss Maudie is one of the nice ladies in the neighborhood and it is through her that Scout learns some things she did not know about her father Atticus. She also rectifies some of the falsehoods that are spread about Boo Radley. 

Miss Stephanie Crawford

Spreads malicious rumours
Speaks with children

Miss Stephanie Crawford Character Art

She is a single middle-aged white lady from one of the old families in the town. Stephanie Crawford is the town’s gossip, notorious for poking into other people’s business and spreading rumors and lies.

Aunt Alexandra

Tries to guide scout to be “ladylike”
Traditional values

Aunt Alexandra Character Art

Atticus Finch’s sister who has very conventional notions about race, gender, and respectability. She has an unusual interest in people’s family backgrounds and ascribes everyone’s behaviors and flaws to family. Ironically, she refuses to accept familial associations with the flaws of members of her own family.

Reverend Sykes

Preacher at the black community’s church
Symbol of black strength

Raises money for Tom Robinsons family

Reverend Sykes Character Art

Reverend Sykes is the preacher in the black people’s church. He is a good man with a strong sense of brotherhood, he practically bullies his congregation into contributing money enough to help the wife and children of the wrongly accused Tom Robinson.

Reverend Sykes is a symbol of black brotherhood and support in the face of injustice.

Bob Ewell

Villain of the novel
Violent, racist, and nasty man
Father to accuser Mayella Ewell

Bob Ewell Character Art

A wicked white man that embodies all the vices and flaws in the Southern culture. He is poor, violent, unhygienic, racist, lazy, breeds numerous children that he does not care for, and very hateful.

He is a morally bankrupt “white trash” and a coward to boot—he has no qualms about accusing an innocent man of a crime, he is abusive to his daughter, and goes as far as attempting to kill a child in his vindictiveness. He is the villain of the novel.

Heck Tate

Sheriff of Macomb County
Cares for and protects community
Believes in true justice

Heck Tate Character Art

Heck Tate is the sheriff of Maycomb County. He is from a local family, has lived all his life in Maycomb County and so knows everyone in the community well enough.

He is a strong-willed man who tries to protect the innocent even if it means doing some unethical practices in his line of duty. He keeps vigil with his gun at a hidden position to protect Tom Robinson from the mob trying to lynch him and he alters the story of Bob Ewells cause of death to protect the privacy of the reclusive Boo Radley.

Mrs. Lafayette Dubose

Dying but also mean old lady
Nags at Jem and Scout

Mrs. Lafayette Dubose Character Art

An old lady in the neighbourhood who is mean despite being sick. She always nags at Jem and Scout whenever she sees them. Mrs Dubose is an example of people that have both good and bad in them. She is racist and condemns Atticus for defending a black man but she also exhibits courage in her insistence to suffer and die without morphine addiction.

Mr Link Deas

Kind store owner
Employed Tom Robinson and wants to help his widow

Mr Link Deas Character Art

Mr. Link Deas is a store owner in Maycomb County. He is among the few people who are not racist in Maycomb County. He was Tom Robinson’s employer for eight years and grew fond of him. While witnessing the court proceedings of Tom Robinson’s trial, he made an angry outburst in the court.

He is a kind man and offered Tom Robinson’s widow employment as a way to help her make a living. And he warned the nasty Bob Ewell to never bother Tom’s widow again. He is an indication that not all white people are racist.

Mr Dolphus Raymond

Married a black woman
Pretends to be a drunkard

Mr Dolphus Raymond Character Art

Mr. Dolphus Raymond is an interesting character. He is from an old respectable white family but chose to marry a black woman which was outrageous in the conventional society of the time.

He enjoys his life with his colored wife and children but pretends to be a drunkard in order to alleviate the white people’s scorn on him and his family.

Judge Taylor

Tries to be a fair Judge
Informal mannerisms
Observant and sharp

Judge Taylor Character Art

A judge in Maycomb County whose informal mannerisms in court belies his brilliance and keen observation—he chews tobacco in court and sometimes positions as one asleep but observes everything.

He is an elderly man living alone with his wife. He is not religious but is a good man. He shows his support for the oppressed black people by assigning Atticus Finch who is a morally upright and nonracist brilliant lawyer to the unfairly accused Tom Robinson.

Mayella Ewell

Accuser of Tom Robinson
Sexually desires Tom Robinson
Lonely and abused by father

Mayella Ewell Character Art

A young lady of nineteen from a poor white family. She is overworked and abused by her father. She tries to act like her idea of a proper southern lady, she maintains good personal hygiene despite the unhygienic habits of her family members and she plants flowers and tends to them with devotion. She is a victim of racial, gender, and class discrimination—she is lonely and without friends, because other white people snub her for being ”white trash” and the black people that live close to her home cannot be friends with her because she is white.

In her loneliness, she begins to sexually desire a black man, the only person that has ever shown her kindness.

Although Mayella is a victim in so many respects, her unwavering indictment of an innocent man whom she tried to seduce shows that she is also a villain who is as heartless and as cruel as the prejudiced society that made her.


Is Boo Radley black?

No, Boo Radley is white. He is from a white family that lives in the nice neighborhood of the town but stays so reclusive and private that neighbors gossip about them.

Who was Boo Radley based on?

Boo Radley is based on a real person in Harper Lee‘s neighborhood of Maycomb County. The man was weird and reclusive but used to leave presents in tree hollows for kids.

Why do the kids call Atticus?

The kids call their father by his first name Atticus because he taught them to do so. Atticus trains his children to see him as a friend without the conventional rigidity of parenthood.

Who was accused of rape in To Kill A Mockingbird?

The character accused of rape in the novel is Tom Robinson. Tom Robinson is a decent black man who is kind and hardworking. The Ewells accuse him of rape to cover the embarrassment of a white trying to seduce a black man.

What is Boo Radley’s real name?

Boo Radleys real name is Arthur. Because Arthur was very ghost-like and rarely ever seen, the children of Maycomb County nicknamed him Boo.

Is Boo Radley autistic?

It is very possible that Boo Radley is on the autistic spectrum. He exhibits traits like light sensitivity, and displays autistic tendencies by avoiding or being unable to engage in conversation with other humans, and mostly being non-verbal when he does.

Onyeka Osuji
About Onyeka Osuji
Onyeka is a lecturer of Public Administration and a Literature enthusiast. After gaining accreditation in English Literature, Onyeka analyzes novels on Book Analysis, whilst working as an academic and writing short stories.
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