Jean Louise Finch: The adult Scout, Jean Louise narrates by telling the story of young Scout and the summer of 1935 in Maycomb, Alabama.
Jem: Scout’s brother and playmate, Jem is twelve years old. Though he is very close with and protective of his sister, he also starts to detach himself from her, transitioning towards adolescence throughout the story. His beliefs and ideals are badly shaken by the prejudice and hatred he observes during Tom Robinson’s trial.
Scout: At the beginning of the story, Scout is nine years old and lives with her father, Atticus, her brother, Jem, and their housekeeper, Calpurnia. She is inquisitive, impulsive, emotional, and by the standards of the day, a true tomboy. She believes in the basic goodness of the people in her community, which is tested as the story unfolds.
Walter Cunningham: A poor farmer whom Atticus tries to help, but who also unsuccessfully leads a lynch mob going after Tom Robinson the night before the trial.
Atticus Finch: As Scout and Jem’s father and a widower, Atticus has taught his children to have a strong sense of justice and open-mindedness. He is a lawyer in Maycomb and is regarded as a man of integrity and decency who agrees to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman, even though he knows there is little chance to win the trial.
Calpurnia: The Finches’ black housekeeper, Calpurnia is very strict and has helped look after the children since their mother’s death.
Mrs. Dubose: An elderly, cranky, racist woman, Mrs. Dubose lives near the Finches. The children do not like her, but Atticus admires her for trying to conquer her morphine addiction. Dill: While spending summers with his aunt who lives next door to the Finches, Dill meets and befriends Scout and Jem. He has a very active imagination and a strong sense of adventure, being the first to suggest the idea of “making Boo come out.”
Mr. Radley: A reclusive neighbor of the Finches, Mr. Radley is the father of Boo. In complete contrast to Atticus as a father, he forces Boo to stay in their house at all times because of past trouble with the police.
Judge Taylor: The judge for Tom Robinson’s trial.
Heck Tate: Maycomb’s sheriff, a decent and respected man.
Bob Ewell: An alcoholic, poverty-stricken, and abusive man, Bob Ewell deliberately and wrongfully accuses Tom Robinson of raping his daughter, and then tries to attack Scout and Jem after the trial.
Reverend Sykes: The Reverend for the black community at the First Purchase African M.E. Church.
Mr. Gilmer: The prosecuting attorney in the case against Tom Robinson.
Mayella Ewell: The oldest of the nine Ewell children, Mayella Ewell is lonely, abused by her father, and unhappy. She tries to seduce Tom, and, when her father sees them, the father and daughter accuse Tom of rape and lie about it in court.
Tom Robinson: A black man who is falsely accused of raping Mayella Ewell, Tom Robinson is defended by Atticus in court. He is one of the story’s “mockingbirds.”
Boo Radley: A reclusive, mysterious neighbor of the Finches, Boo Radley becomes a source of fascination for the children, and starts to develop a sort of indirect friendship with them, leaving them small gifts. As one of the story’s “mockingbirds,” he is a prisoner in his own home, but emerges to protect Scout and Jem from a potentially life-threatening situation.