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Even in the courtroom, Atticus is always a gentleman. When he questions Mayella, he is polite and kind. Mayella has never been spoken to in this manner. She is only familiar with her father's harsh and often crude talk, as shown every time he speak. Therefore, when Atticus uses his manners in the courtroom, Mayella thinks he is making fun of her. She doesn't know what manners are because she has never heard them or spoken them. She led a rather isolated life with her father as the only adult influence. Naturally, when he speaks to her in a rough manner, that's all she expects of others. To be spoken to gently and politely is foreign to her.
Mayella gets very upset and begins to cry hysterically when questioned by Atticus. She angrily accuses him of making fun of her by using the term "ma'am" when speaking to her. She is obviously not used to people treating her with respect or kindness.
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