Atticus said the Ewells had been the disgrace of Maycomb for three generations. None of them had done an honest day’s work in his recollection. He said that some Christmas, when he was getting rid of the tree, he would take me with him and show me where and how they lived. They were people, but they lived like animals
– Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 3. Atticus lays down the law to Scout about going to school. She doesn’t see why she has to go when Bob Ewell’s son Burris doesn’t. The usually understanding and non-judgmental Atticus has strong words to say about the Ewells. But to be fair to him, Atticus is quite right to speak disapprovingly of the neglectful way Bob Ewell treats his children. They are often left to starve while their father spends the money for their food on whiskey. Atticus is a man who believes strongly in taking care of family.