How Does Mayella Ewell Have Power In To Kill A Mockingbird

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When thinking of the 1930’s, the Great Depression is what often comes to mind. Alongside America’s immense economic issues was also a another harmful situation: the problems that were happening for minorities and less privileged people. The 1930’s were not just a struggle for money, they were also a struggle for equality. Harper Lee conveys a message of power based on inequality throughout her novel To Kill a Mockingbird with nearly every character. Specifically, Mayella Ewell has an interesting position and gives a different view on the types of power in the 1930’s in Maycomb Alabama. One character, Mayella Ewell, possesses power due to her race, but not because of her gender or her social class. Regarding social class, Mayella Ewell has …show more content…

In the courtroom specifically, Mayella is more likely to win for the reason that she is white. Reverend Sykes tells Jem during the trial, “Now don’t you be so confident, Mr. Jem, I ain’t ever seen any jury decide in favor of a colored man over a white man” (Lee Doc. D). Tom Robinson does not have a high chance to win against Mayella because she is white and he is black, which gives Mayella power over Tom. Later in the trial, Mayella’s race is emphasized again when the people in the courthouse become overtly upset at one of Tom’s answers about why he helped Mayella: “Yes suh, I felt right sorry for, she seemed to try more’n the rest of ‘em” (Lee Doc. D). The courtroom does not like Tom’s response as a result of their belief he should never feel pity for a white woman, which shows again her power over him. Unfortunately for Mayella, however, being white is not enough to be powerful, as her social class and gender make her helpless outside of the courtroom and leave her with no option but to surrender to the life society has chosen for her. So, Mayella being white gives her a little power over Tom Robinson even though she has no power in that she is a poor

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