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What is the significance of Mayella Ewell's anger toward Atticus during the trial of...

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mockingbird12345 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 28, 2011 at 8:23 AM via web

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What is the significance of Mayella Ewell's anger toward Atticus during the trial of Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 28, 2011 at 8:57 AM (Answer #1)

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Tom Robinson.  I don't believe Tom ever showed anger during the story, but it may have been temporary madness that caused him to try and escape from the prison in broad daylight.
Mayella Ewell.  Mayella showed her anger throughout her questioning by Atticus, climaxed by her outburst calling Atticus and the jury "yellow, stinkin' cowards."
Jem.  Jem and Scout argued and fought occasionally, but he became most upset following the jury's guilty verdict in the Tom Robinson case.
Scout.  Scout learned to control her tmper as the story grew, but who can forget her fight with Cousin Francis, when she "split my knuckle to the bone" on his face?
The Jury.  Little is said about the emotions of the jury, although Atticus relates that there was one holdout who wanted to vote "not guilty" before giving in.
The Prison Guards.  Their only reference was to Tom's escape attempt (which they may or may not have been angry about), riddling him with seventeen bullet holes.
Mr. Walter Cunningham.  Cunningham's moment of madness came when he led his Ol' Sarum friends to the jail with the intent of making Tom the host of their lynching party.
The Missionary Circle.  Miss Maudie remained calm but angry when she sniped at Mrs. Merriweather about her comments concerning her maid, Sophy.

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