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To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

Braxton Bragg Underwood

Character Analysis

Mr. Underwood shares his name with a famous typewriter brand—appropriate, since he runs Maycomb's one and only newspaper, The Maycomb Tribune. He's also one of the few minor characters in the novel who changes over the course of the story.

After one of his first appearances, covering Atticus with a shotgun the night the lynch mob tries to take Tom out of jail, Atticus explains why this was a weird thing for Mr. Bragg to do: "he despises Negroes, won't have one near him" (16.5), and yet he acts to protect Tom as well as Atticus. After Tom is killed, Mr. Bragg writes a bitter editorial about injustice, suggesting that his attitudes towards African-Americans have changed—or perhaps that racist attitudes can be more complicated than a simple "for" or "against."

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