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In "To Kill a Mockingbird", how does Scout’s initial description of Mayella...

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kitty006 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 9, 2008 at 8:09 AM via web

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In "To Kill a Mockingbird", how does Scout’s initial description of Mayella Ewell show Scout’s character growth?

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katemschultz | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted November 9, 2008 at 8:20 AM (Answer #1)

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Scout describes Mayella physically--she seems strong, but stealthy. She also notices that Mayella seems to try most than the rest of the Ewells--she seems as though she tries to keep clean on a regular basis rather than just on special occasions.

The big moment that shows Scout is growing up is that she comes to the conclusion that Mayella must be lonelier than Boo Radley. White people won't have anything to do with her because of her family and poverty and black people wouldn't have anything to do with her because she is white. Scout and Dill have already come to the conclusion that Boo Radley perhaps wants to stay in his house--but Mayella seems to want to be a part of a society that won't have anything to do with her.

Scout is able to put herself in Mayella's shoes and understand what it must feel like to be Mayella. Scout is also not simply judging Mayella on what she has heard about Mayella or the Ewells. Scout is able to see that a person doesn't have to be all one thing--like Boo isn't just creepy and Mayella isn't just a rude Ewell--there are different parts to everyone's personality.

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