Mayella Ewell Character Analysis

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Filled with the anxieties of a young girl and her town, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ has a diverse cast of characters, including one Mayella Ewell. Although not the main character, she plays a pivotal role as the victim in the Tom Robinson case. In Lee’s story, direct characterization from Scout, figurative language on the stand, and other details throughout the story help readers sympathize with Mayella Ewell, as they paint a picture of her homelife and the societal obstacle course set before her. In the Court scene, there are many instances where the officials’ interactions with Mayella, and her reactions to them, can make the reader feel sympathetic towards her. One such instance, reoccuring several times throughout the scene, is when Atticus calls her ‘Miss’ Mayella Ewell to which she responds with hurt and anger, saying “Won’t answer a word you say long as you keep on mockin‘ me.” Lee also uses Jem, who (in his wise old age) is proficient at reading people, to help set the tone for Mayella being honest and victimized by all those around her. Jem says comments throughout Bob Ewell’s testimony that he was probably lying, but Mayella’s tears seemed real. Also, while being questioned by Atticus, Mayella cries often and, at the beginning tells the judge that Atticus scares her. Because there are…show more content…
She gives all the deets on what Mayella has been doing, both the good and the bad. Lee uses other characters, like the Finches, to compare and contrast the norm for most families living in Maycomb, and the Ewells. She also uses the scenery around the Ewell's home to make the readers understand that Mayella and her siblings are not only abused, ignored, ignorant, and dirty, but that the town itself treats them differently because of how they were raised. Lee paints a picture of a pitiful girl who pours her frustrations and attentions into her actions, no matter how they might affect those around
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