To Kill A Mockingbird Mayella Character Analysis

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Is it possible for a white woman in the south to have no power? Mayella is a young lady living in Maycomb in the 1930’s - 1940’s. Her father abuses her and her brothers don’t do anything to help her. The only adult she ever has any interaction with is a young negro named Tom Robinson. After a year of careful planning she gets Tom Robinson into her house and makes advances toward him. When he denies them and Mayella’s father comes into the yard tom runs away because he knows something bad will come from this. After tom is gone Mayella’s father forces her to say that Tom Robinson abused her. Mayella is powerless because of her gender, the class she lives in, and the respect she gets from those around her. Mayella has never really been respected before. When in court she is examined by Atticus and he does nothing but call her “ma’am” and “miss Mayella” and she sees it as him mocking her. She doesn't even really know how to handle it except to get even more upset over it because she's never had anyone respect her like that before. Her father has treated her terribly and this takes any idea of power or respect from her (doc C). She is unable to understand that she is being respected and when Atticus calls her respectable names the only thing she is able to take…show more content…
She is a woman. This makes her frail, kind, and gentle. Her father however is the exact opposite. He is big and burly and abusive. When mayella is on trial and is asked about her father she says he is “tolerable except…” When Atticus is trying to get more out of that except she sees her dad sitting up in his chair, looking at her in a way that say something. Something only she knows, something only she fears. She say “except nothing” (doc B). This series of events shows she wants to tell the truth and doesn't want Tom Robinson to go to jail, but doesn't have the power because if she tries to say anything she will end up with more bruises and pain from her
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